Colorado’s first psychedelics advisory board meeting was held last week, kicking off development of the regulated access scheme for mind-bending therapeutics that was approved by voters in November. But for now, the focus is on questions rather than answers.
Over the next week, the Natural Medicine Advisory Board’s several subcommittees will gather to establish their goals and the questions that need answers to create an effective program, starting with discussion about emergency response, safety, and ethics.
Only one state in the U.S. – Oregon – has successfully launched a psychedelics program to date, meaning the program is starting from near zero in establishing a framework. This was evident in questions raised during the initial subcommittee meeting.
“What I need to know up front is, how do we view the services provided?” asked subcommittee member Joshua Goodwin, CEO and founder of mental health company True North Colorado. At issue was whether the state’s program would be developed with a traditional medical focus or one that looks more like health and wellness endeavors, such as yoga studios.
While no answers were provided, the board explored a wide range of questions that will need to be addressed as the work continues, ranging from what informed consent for program participation means to whether facilitators can also ingest psychedelic substances during the sessions.
The advisory board has a deadline of Sept. 30 to make its initial recommendations to the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies.
Additional subcommittee meetings will be hosted over the next two weeks:
- April 20: Public health/health equity subcommittee
- April 21: Indigenous and religious subcommittee
- April 26: Products, research, and data subcommittee
- April 27: Qualifications, licensing, and training subcommittee
- April 28: Harm reduction/public safety subcommittee
The meetings are open to the public for viewing, but questions are not being taken by the board at this time.