At the kickoff of the Oregon legislative session in January, I wrote Oregon Psilocybin 2023: Legislative Forecast and Report. The session went awry in April, when Oregon Senate Republicans staged a walkout over gun and abortion bills. The walkout lasted six weeks, with our representatives re-opening for business on June 15th— just 10 days before sin die on June 25th (close of session).
We did see a few psilocybin bills pass regardless. One I had covered previously fizzled out– SB 302, related to disclosure of landlords of psilocybin manufacturers.
Before I get going here, please note: this post does not cover “technical fix” bills surround Measure 109 (see SB 965), or anything related to changes in civil or criminal penalties surrounding Measure 110, Oregon’s drug decriminalization initiative. But the legislature did significant work there, including penalty adjustments for possession and distribution of psilocybin outside the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) program.
SB 303 – Service centers must collect and report client data
This controversial bill received a lot of attention going into the session. SB 303 ultimately passed and was signed into law by Governor Kotek on June 6th. I’m not sure why we haven’t seen any reporting on it.
Enrolled SB 303 requires service center licensees to collect and maintain copious data on every client consuming psilocybin in the Oregon program, including: a) the client’s race, ethnicity, languages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, age, and county of residence; and b) the “reasons for which a client requests psilocybin services.” Service centers also have extensive reporting requirements under the new law: number of clients served, types of sessions provided, adverse reactions, etc. It’s expansive and I’d encourage interested parties to read the bill for themselves (enrolled version here), rather than rely on this cursory summary.
SB 303 does provide that clients “may request” that their information be withheld from the OHA, and a mechanism for OHA to “exempt from the submission requirement information that [OHA] determines cannot be adequately deidentified.” But it doesn’t require service centers to honor the client requests, or give “deidentification” standards to OHA. So I doubt those caveats will assuage worry for many in this small program.
Ultimately, OHA is required to turn around and pass this data along to Oregon Health and Science University “for the purpose of enabling the evaluation of outcomes of psilocybin services…”. Presumably OHA can then weigh in on medical policy questions around Measure 109.
I really don’t like this bill. In January, I explained that SB 303 was a bad idea because:
1) it disregards client autonomy and confidentiality (in a quasi-medical program); 2) it increases the costs of psilocybin services for clients, businesses and taxpayers (they will be high already); and worst of all: 3) it ignores the will of voters and thoughtful decisions made during the OHA rulemaking process.
I also observed:
More generally, the Oregon Psilocybin Services program will be small– a lot smaller than many people expected. Does OHA really need this data? Does anyone else? Oregonians voted for access to psilocybin at service centers, full stop. The access could be for any reason at all: curiosity, inspiration, health, whatever. No one voted for a medical research or data collection program. That’s what the FDA lane on psychedelics is for.
Well, the bill passed regardless, and Oregon licensees and their psilocybin clients must adapt. It’s hard to see this bill making service center patronage more enticing on the user side– even for anyone wealthy enough to afford a session or two. And the program is now more convoluted than ever with respect to its “quasi medical” orientation.
SB 5526 – Psilocybin licensing fee schedule
Enrolled SB 5526 is a budget bill which sets or adjusts fees for all manner of OHA related programs, including the Oregon Psilocybin Services program. The new fee schedule can be found at Section 1(3)(a)-(n). At a quick glance I don’t see any changes. The legislature is in a tough spot here: while license fees are already high, OHA itself has acknowledged that the program won’t pay for itself and has requested a taxpayer bailout from the general fund. But that’s a story for another day.