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Psychedelics Law

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Preparing for Legalization

Psychedelic lawyers providing industry-expert legal planning, regulatory support, corporate guidance, compliance strategies, and litigation.

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Psychedelics Changing Legal Status

Everything is changing with psychedelic drugs. Until recently, substances with psychedelic or entheogenic properties were used recreationally, and always illegally. These substances were widely perceived to have no medical value and no commercial application. As such, no one invested in this area or required legal services outside of the criminal context. Today, psychedelics are proceeding toward legalization on two paths.


The first path is pharmaceutical drug development. In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Spravato, a ketamine-based nasal spray used for treatment-resistant depression. Shortly thereafter, the FDA granted “breakthrough status” to a pair of psilocybin applicants for depression-related formulas. Private and public companies are now racing to raise money, develop intellectual property, and capitalize on the market opportunities associated with government-approved psychedelic drugs. These opportunities are tremendous but legally arduous. 

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State Decriminalization and Legalization

The second path for psychedelics is being undertaken at the state and local levels through decriminalization and legalization efforts. Decriminalization already has occurred in cities such as Santa Cruz, Denver, Seattle, and Oakland. States may soon follow. The commercial opportunities associated with decriminalization are less clear. The State of Oregon legalized psilocybin therapy in 2020 with the passage of Measure 109. There will be a variety of commercial licenses available in Oregon to manufacture psilocybin and to administer and facilitate psilocybin sessions. Oregon is the only state as of 2022 to have legalzed psilocybin for commercial health and wellness applications. 

As a firm that has provided business and related services in the cannabis space going back to 2010, we are familiar with many of the unique issues businesses and individuals face in the psychedelics space. We regularly cover legal and policy topics in and around psychedelics on our blog. We also have compiled (and are forever adding to) a Psychedelics Glossary, to help with industry terminology. 

Full Legal Services Surrounding Psychedelics

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Our Legal Services for Psychedelic Law

  • Entity formation, administration, and governance
  • Finance and investment
  • Intellectual property protection and registration
  • Technology related agreements
  • Regulatory compliance advice and counsel
  • Legal opinion work
  • Contracts
  • Litigation
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The Psychedelics Law Blog is a forum for discussing the impact of psychedelics laws on industry stakeholders. We provide insight for readers to use this dynamic body of law and policy to their advantage. In plain language, our blog posts analyze what works, what doesn’t, and why. Our aim is to further the development of this exciting field in a collaborative environment with our readers.

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Our Clients' Successes

“Harris Sliwoski expertly guided us through the formation of our company. They continue to assist with necessary registrations and compliance with numerous regulations. They were able to promptly answer all our many questions and provide understandable options, explanations and practical advice. We expect to continue to use Harris Sliwoski on a regular basis as our company expands. They were also able to introduce us other professional experts. We would not hesitate to recommend Harris Sliwoski to any companies in need of legal advice.”

user icon Three Continents Foods LLC

This law firm was a huge help as our company went through the process of commercial licensing in the California cannabis industry.  They have helped us with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while clearly communicating with us throughout the process.  Everyone we’ve worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field and we have always felt that we were in good hands through our legal representation.

user icon Wil Crummer, CEO PRO Farms

Legal stuff is always scary. And I’ve had to play offense a couple times, begrudgingly. To have Harris Sliwoski have my back? It made things a lot less prickly. They quickly walked me through my options, and were refreshingly consistent in their communications, timing and billing. I’ve been lucky to stay out of the legal side of things my whole career, thankfully. When things went a little wrong, Harris Sliwoski quickly made things right.

user icon Aaron Draplin, Founder Draplin Design Co.

I am impressed with this law firm. They answered all my questions regarding cannabis businesses and the California cannabis framework, and they have helped me with a variety of legal issues in a timely fashion, while always clearly communicating with us throughout the process. They also redirected me to other quality people for my business needs. Everyone I worked with at Harris Sliwoski is an expert in their field, and I was in good hands throughout my legal representation.

user icon Corey T., CEO Thinc Cubed, LLC

I have been working with the lawyers at Harris Sliwoski for more than 20 years both as a business owner and as an executive at a large east-coast health system and that is because they have always efficiently provided high level and clear international law advice. Most recently, Harris Sliwoski provided legal support on many matters related to procuring medical products worldwide. Their support was particularly helpful to during the onset of COVID, when there was a big need for securing PPE quickly, all while navigating complicated international and domestic legal requirements. Harris Sliwoski’s team of international lawyers helped by conducting rapid-fire due diligence on potential suppliers, navigating the legal logistics for getting product from overseas and through U.S. customs, and drafting contracts to protect against various sorts of horribles. They did this by essentially providing what amounted to 24/7 service. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

user icon Dan Pak Hospital Supply Chain Executive

Harris Sliwoski has represented our company in the legal cannabis industry for years. Harris Sliwoski has advised us in a wide variety of legal matters, and they are truly experts in their field. I would highly recommend Harris Sliwoski to anyone with questions about cannabis law, or any legal matters. They have been great for our Company, and will continue to guide us as our industry evolves

user icon Matt Hurt, COO Cannabis Nation

You won’t find a better partner than Harris Sliwoski when trying to navigate the complex world of healthcare regulations.  They not only give sound and reliable legal advice, but they are also very responsive and are able to guide you in a way that helps you reach your business objectives as well.

user icon Joseph Axelrod, General Counsel Irwin Naturals

When we started the process of building a ‘seed to sale’ cannabis company in Oregon, we saw the need for expert legal counsel.  The cannabis sector is fraught with potential peril at every turn, and we wanted the best legal advice we could find.  After talking to several firms and individuals, we feel extremely fortunate to have chosen Harris Sliwoski as our legal counsel.

user icon Tony Theiss, CEO and Co-Founder Redbarn Cannabis 

We use Harris Sliwoski on all our international legal matters, including on our international litigation matters. We have over the last few years been involved in a couple big international legal disputes and Harris Sliwoski’s international dispute resolution team provided us with expert legal assistance on both matters. They were always very careful to explain to us what they were doing and why and what their actions would likely cost us in legal fees. Most importantly, we did extremely well on both cases and I have no doubt Harris Sliwoski was a big factor in that.

user icon Kevin English, CEO We Are Camp

We have used Harris Sliwoski for legal help related to our international manufacturing. The lawyers with whom I worked had extensive familiarity with the international legal issues involved in our various projects and offered us key insights. I particularly appreciated how they always quickly and efficiently do what they say they will do and always within their cost estimates.

user icon Andrea Barona Valladolid, Senior Legal Counsel Fairphone
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