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Hawaii Task Force Files Bill Creating Program for Medicinal Psilocybin Use

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Hawaii recently introduced a new measure that would establish legal protections for psilocybin’s therapeutic use. Under SB 3019, eligible patients would be allowed to possess the psychedelic and receive it under the care of a trained facilitator.

The legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Chris Lee, was introduced by a task force formed in 2023 to look into breakthrough therapies. While the measure won’t legalize the psychedelic, it would defend eligible patients and their caregivers from state laws against psilocybin. Under SB 3019, mental health professionals would be allowed to recommend therapeutic psilocybin for individuals who met the stipulated eligibility criteria.

Prior to the drug being administered, eligible patients would be required to undergo a preparation session. Once this was done, they would receive roughly five grams of the psychedelic. It should be noted psilocybin administered would not exceed the aforementioned dosage.

Eligible conditions that can be treated with psilocybin under the legislation include major depressive disorder or treatment-resistant depression; post-traumatic stress disorder; demoralization and existential stress; end-of-life anxiety; obsessive-compulsive disorder; substance use disorders; and eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia.

In its findings section, SB 3019 states that psilocybin has demonstrated promising potential for the treatment of various mental-health conditions, highlighting studies which found that the psychedelic could effectively be used to treat different mental and medical conditions.

The legislation adds that voters in the states of Colorado and Oregon have already adopted laws that regulate and license psilocybin while other states have also made similar proposals to conduct research and created task forces on the same. The legislation also notes that its purpose is to make sure that individuals who struggle with various treatment-resistant, mental-health conditions and trauma aren’t penalized by the state for using psilocybin for therapeutic purposes.

Facilitators will also be required to be 21 years of age or older, be a resident of the state of Hawaii and hold a high-school diploma or equivalent degree. Additionally, all facilitators would need to complete an integration training program on psychedelics. The program’s curriculum has already received approval from the Office of Wellness and Resilience.

Lee explained that there were many cases where psychedelics such as MDMA and psilocybin could help improve the quality of life of individuals at minimal cost, especially in comparison with other treatments.

The FDA has already granted breakthrough therapy designation to psilocybin and MDMA. This designation allows for the faster development and review of drugs that can treat severe illnesses.

In Hawaii particularly, Lee noted that many veterans who suffered from ailments such as PTSD as well as older individuals who sought end-of-life care could benefit from psilocybin.

The psychedelic reform movement making its way around the country and even the world is undoubtedly inspired to a certain extent by the scientific data being unearthed by startups such as Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ), which are working to commercialize psychedelic treatments.

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