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Indiana Governor Enacts Bill Funding Psilocybin Research for First Responders, Veterans

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Governor Eric Holcomb of Indiana recently signed a measure that includes provisions to fund clinical trials on psilocybin’s therapeutic benefits. The measure, which primarily focuses on healthcare issues, was recently amended to include language on psychedelics.

The reform provisions that legislators included to the broader measure were obtained from a standalone bill from Senator Ed Charbonneau, which cleared the Senate in February. In a press release, Charbonneau stated that the bill’s intention was to provide funds to help research institutions in the state in conducting research on the possible use of psilocybin in the treatment of mental-health conditions, with a focus on first responders and veterans.

Under the recently signed law, Indiana will establish a therapeutic psilocybin research fund to provide the aforementioned financial assistance. Any trial that obtains funding under the bill will need to include first responders and veterans in their study sample. The procedure to receive funding involves an application made by researchers to the state’s health department.

Eligible conditions for research include anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, migraines and chronic pain, as well as tobacco use disorder and alcohol use disorder. The trials conducted using provided funds will need to compare the effectiveness of psilocybin as a treatment for mental-health conditions with the effectiveness of currently used treatment options.

Officials are expected to come up with a process to administer the fund and process applications by July 1, 2024.

This development comes after a study committee suggested, during this year’s legislative session, that legislators authorize a psilocybin pilot program to study psychedelic-assisted therapy for mental health. The committee, which was established by the state, advised that the general assembly adopt an approach that focused on research, access and prudence.

The committee then noted that psilocybin had proven medical benefits and shouldn’t be classified as a Schedule I drug. At the federal level, psilocybin is illegal and is classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Indiana is one of many states where legislators are pursuing psychedelic reform, with a focus on therapeutic access and research. In Arizona, a House panel passed a Senate-approved measure to legalize psilocybin therapy centers where individuals could receive the drug in a supervised setting. In Maryland, the Senate and House approved a bill to establish a psychedelics task force that would conduct research on possible regulatory frameworks for therapeutic access to psychedelics like mescaline, psilocybin and DMT.

Legislators in Utah also recently passed a measure that would authorize a pilot program for hospitals to administer MDMA and psilocybin as alternative treatment options. The measure was forwarded to the governor’s desk. The research fund in Indiana facilitating psilocybin research could uncover scientific data that adds onto what for-profit enterprises such as Compass Pathways PLC (NASDAQ: CMPS) are doing to advance the field of psychedelic medicine.

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