Illinois Bill Would Legalize Psilocybin And Create Service Centers, With Plans To Add More Psychedelics To The Program

Illinois Bill Would Legalize Psilocybin And Create Service Centers, With Plans To Add More Psychedelics To The Program

An Illinois senator has introduced a bill to legalize psilocybin and allow regulated access at service centers in the state where adults could use the psychedelic in a supervised setting—with plans to expand the program to include mescaline, ibogaine and DMT.

Sen. Rachel Ventura (D) filed the legislation—titled the Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens (CURE) Act—earlier this month. It’s currently pending committee assignment.

“As mental health concerns rise throughout our state and nation, it’s imperative to acknowledge that conventional treatments don’t always suffice,” Ventura said in a press release. “Psilocybin shows promise as a potential solution, particularly for those grappling with PTSD and other mental health disorders. The ongoing research and trials have yielded encouraging results.”

The bill would remove psilocybin and psilocyn from the state’s controlled substances list and establish an Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board under the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to make recommendations on licensing for service centers and training programs for psilocybin facilitators.

The advisory board would also be responsible for “preparing proposed rules” to add mescaline (not derived from peyote), ibogaine (not derived from iboga) and DMT to the list of entheogens that would be legalized and regulated under the program. They would need to do so by July 1, 2027.

While the bill states that ones of its purposes is to institute “a public health and harm reduction approach to natural medicines by removing criminal penalties for the possession of some entheogens for personal use by adults who are 18 years of age or older,” that appears limited to removing psilocybin from the banned substances list for now.

A version of the CURE Act was introduced in the Illinois House by Rep. La Shawn Ford (D) last year. Ventura and Ford are now collaborating on the proposal.

“Prohibition has always been bad public policy and dangerous for public health,” Ford said. “I’m proud to work with Senator Ventura to pass a law to help veterans struggling with PTSD and others seeking therapy to help with life challenges.”

The legislation would also provide for the automatic expungement of prior psilocybin possession convictions, starting 180 days after enactment.

Psilocybin products that are used at the service centers would be subject to a 15 percent tax. Ventura estimates that the average cost of a product for consumer will be $35 to $40 per product, Springfield State Journal- Register reported.

The state Department of Agriculture would oversee psilocybin production, while the Department of Public Health would be responsible for carrying out education-related initiatives.

The bill is being endorsed by the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) and the Illinois Psychedelic Society.

Dave Franco, a retired Chicago police officer and LEAP representative, said the organization “recognizes this bill as nothing short of life saving.”

“Providing a proven means for people to work through their traumas and live happier, healthier, and more productive lives,” he said. “The benefits for mental and behavioral health can also have sizable impacts on community health and public safety.”

Jean Lacy, founder of the Illinois Psychedelic Society, said “demand for therapeutic psychedelic experiences and retreats is far outpacing the supply of psychedelic guides, therapists, and practitioners.”

“We are asking that lawmakers in Illinois not let unnecessary barriers stand in the way of safe, compassionate access and quality assurance for psychedelic healing,” she said. “Illinois has the opportunity to be a standard-setter for other states, creating training centers, developing standards of care, and providing a model for other states to follow.”

“Illinois mental health crisis is growing and there are serious consequences to withholding these medicines from those who need it,” Lacy said.

Ventura, the Senate sponsor, said that supporters are “dedicated to eliminating obstacles to healing in Illinois.”

“As additional options emerge for the public, my aspiration is for plant medicines to shed their stigma and be recognized for their safe and beneficial qualities,” she said.

Illinois is one of a growing numbers of states where lawmakers are pursuing psychedelics reform this session, with a focus on research and access in a therapeutic context.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.—

For example, a second Arizona Senate committee approved a bipartisan bill on Monday that would legalize psilocybin service centers where people could receive the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting, sending it to the floor.

Last week, an Alaska Senate committee advanced a bill that would create a task force to study how to license and regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy in anticipation of eventual federal legalization of substances like MDMA and psilocybin.

Lawmakers in Hawaii are also continuing to advance a bill that would provide some legal protections to patients engaging in psilocybin-assisted therapy with a medical professional’s approval.

The New Mexico Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution last week requesting that state officials research the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and explore the creation of a regulatory framework to provide access to the psychedelic.

Last week, an Indiana House committee approved a Republican-led bill that would fund clinical research trials into psilocybin that has already cleared the full Senate.

Bipartisan California lawmakers also recently introduced a bill to legalize psychedelic service centers where adults 21 and older could access psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline and DMT in a supervised environment with trained facilitators.

A Nevada joint legislative committee held a hearing with expert and public testimony on the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin last month. Law enforcement representatives also shared their concerns around legalization—but there was notable acknowledgement that some reforms should be enacted, including possible rescheduling.

The governor of Massachusetts recently promoted the testimony of activists who spoke in favor of her veterans-focused bill that would, in part, create a psychedelics work group to study the therapeutic potential of substances such as psilocybin.

A New York lawmaker recently introduced a bill that would create a pilot program to provide psilocybin therapy to 10,000 people, focusing on military veterans and first responders, while the legislature also considers broader psychedelics reform.

A Missouri House committee considered a proposal last month that would legalize the medical use of psilocybin in the state and mandate clinical trials exploring the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic.

Another Arizona Senate Committee Approves Bill To Legalize Psilocybin Service Centers, Sending It To The Floor

Image courtesy of Kristie Gianopulos.

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