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Colorado Prop 122: A Complete Guide to Legal Psychedelic Therapy

November 8th, 2022 marked the passing of Colorado Proposition 122– The Natural Medicine Health Act. With 53.6% of state voters opting in to decriminalize natural psychedelic medicine, Colorado now stands as one of the nation’s leading states in psychedelic reform. For many though, the nuances of this newly-established measure remain blurry.

What exactly is protected under this measure? What does this mean for the sale and distribution of psychedelic substances? How can Colorado residents discern the difference between regulated use of natural psychedelics, and use for personal and community healing purposes?

To understand the precise contours of decriminalization, we interviewed Joshua Kappel, co-author of Proposition 122, chair of the campaign committee for the Natural Medicine Health Act, and founding partner of Vincente LLP– a firm focused on cannabis and psychedelic law and policy.

Kappel helps us understand the permissions and limitations set forth by Proposition 122, including regulations on professional licensure, cultivation and processing, drug paraphernalia, and access to medical care. 

“Everyone in Colorado using natural psychedelic medicines needs to understand their newfound rights granted by the Natural Medicine Health Act.” 

– Joshua Kappel, Co-Drafter Natural Medicine Health Act and Founding Partner, Vicente LLP 

Later, we dive into some of the most pressing concerns surrounding psychedelic reform. More specifically, we discuss how Proposition 122 protects personal use and community healing without opening the door for unregulated capitalism.

We’ll compare and contrast Colorado Prop 122 to Oregon Measure 109, while considering the ways in which cannabis legislation outcomes have influenced the trajectory of psychedelic reform efforts.

Kappel’s roadmap for the Regulated Access program includes first steps and expected timelines. When will applications for healing centers be released, and what are the current plans for facilitator training programs?

To close off, we review current progress in Colorado’s psychedelic regulation advisory board, detailing the chain of command set in place to ensure career-based equity pathways are available for those who wish to become facilitators. 

If any of these questions call your attention, we invite you to continue reading. In fact, we can almost guarantee that this article will disambiguate just about any doubt you might have surrounding decriminalization and psychedelic therapy in Colorado

To complement today’s discussion, we’ve included Part 1 and Part 2 of the Psychedelic Passage podcast episode, “Explaining Colorado Prop 122 With Co-author, Joshua Kappel”. Without further adieu, we present a complete breakdown of Colorado Proposition 122. 

“Explaining Colorado Prop 122 With Co-author, Joshua Kappel” – Part 1

“Explaining Colorado Prop 122 With Co-author, Joshua Kappel” – Part 2

Legal Disclaimer

The information shared in this article should not be misconstrued as legal advice. The purpose of this article is to discuss Colorado Proposition 122 from an information, public policy, and harm reduction standpoint. Any actions that you take as a reader are within your own risk tolerances and choices. 

Similar to cannabis, if you possess psychedelic drugs in Colorado, federal law is still being violated. From a legal perspective, the majority of drug arrests are made at the state level, which is why Proposition 122 focused on decriminalizing psychedelics at the state level. 

An Overview of Colorado Proposition 122

Colorado Proposition 122, also known as the Natural Medicine Health Act, was the first successful state ballot measure to create state-wide access in natural psychedelic healing through both a state-regulated model and a decentralized community healing model

Joshua Kappel shares, “What we did with Prop 122 is we actually changed state criminal law, which effectively changes 95%, 98% of all arrests in Colorado related to these natural psychedelics.” 

This statutory measure was included in the November 2022 ballot, and was part of the broader initiative to collect at least 200,000 signatures that would force a vote on this policy. 

What Psychedelics Are Classified as “Natural Medicine”?

Under the Natural Medicine Health Act, specifically in the personal use model, natural medicines include psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and mescaline, but not from peyote. Mescaline comes from the Mexican peyote cactus and from the San Pedro cactus, common in Peru and Ecuador. 

Thus, the only decriminalized form of mescaline is that which is sourced from the San Pedro cactus. In the regulated model, “natural medicines” only include psilocybin and psilocin. 

Legal Protections & Limitations Held by Proposition 122 

Distribution of Psychedelics 

Proposition 122 has officially decriminalized the possession, sharing, ingestion, and purchase of natural psychedelics, for use in personal and community healing. However, a crucial caveat is that you are not permitted to receive any remuneration, or anything of value, in exchange for sharing these medicines.

For example, the measure doesn’t allow someone to give you mushrooms in exchange for buying a harm reduction book or any other product. This would be classified as the selling, not the sharing of natural psychedelic medicine.

The sharing of these medicines also cannot be commercialized under the personal use model. This prohibits giving these medicines away as part of a business promotion or otherwise. It also prohibits paid advertising related to concurrent services. So without commercialization or dispensaries, how would one legally obtain natural psychedelics?

Kappel says, “We don’t really want to encourage the purchasing of natural psychedelics from folks who are illegally selling it because you’re really putting them in legal jeopardy. I

t’s not something we’re trying to actively encourage and there are strict prohibitions against sales”. 

Thus, purchasing is decriminalized, but those who sell natural psychedelics are still in jeopardy of facing criminal penalties. The selling of natural psychedelics was prohibited with the intention to encourage community resourcing and community collaboration.

In terms of exceptions for purchasing natural medicine, those who engage with the regulated market can purchase from healing centers. The proposition also allows community healers to purchase these products. 

For example, if Ayahuascaras are purchasing their medicines, the Natural Medicine Health Act protects this. “To me, it’s a key part of dismantling our overall failed drug war policies”, says Kappel.  

Regarding age restrictions, no person under 21 years of age is protected under the proposition. This also means that criminal penalties remain in effect for those who violate the law by providing natural psychedelics to those under the age of 21.

Psychedelic Use

As with any consciousness-altering substance, the use of these natural medicines are prohibited when operating any vehicle. The proposition also limits ingestion of natural medicine in a public place. 

Another obvious limitation surrounds acts of violence while under the influence of psychedelics. Proposition 122 doesn’t protect an offender who harms another person under the influence of psychedelics, thus legal consequences are still very relevant.

Possession of Psychedelics

Possession of natural psychedelics on federal property, including national parks, isn’t protected under Prop 122. Possession of these drugs are also prohibited in schools, detention facilities, and public buildings. However, you may walk around Colorado streets with natural psychedelics on your person, or while already on a microdose of psilocybin, for example.

In terms of quantity limits, the policy is fairly broad. As it stands, you can possess whatever amount is necessary for your personal use, and for you to give to your community. These lax limitations on possession should be interpreted and integrated within reasonable bounds.

The Cultivation and Processing of Psychedelics

Proposition 122 has decriminalized the cultivation and processing of natural psychedelic medicine for personal and community healing. Again, natural medicines under the personal use section include psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and all of the cacti that contain mescaline, except for peyote. 

The same applies to various plants that contain DMT. If you’re cultivating or processing natural psychedelics for personal use, it must be done in a private residence and access must be restricted from people under the age of 21.

Defining & Regulating Drug Paraphernalia

Protections are also in place for drug paraphernalia. People in Colorado are legally allowed to possess mushroom grow kits and psilocybin spores. Paraphernalia can also include digital scales for weighing and dosing, grinders, and stash boxes.

Regulations Surrounding Professional Licensure

Colorado Proposition 122 grants civil protections around professional licensure. People with professional licensure, such as lawyers, doctors, and therapists, cannot lose their credentials for engaging in the personal use or sharing of natural medicine.

Additionally, Prop 122 created two licensing regimes, once addressing licensing for those seeking to become a psychedelic facilitator, and the other addressing licensing of healing centers. There are no prerequisite requirements for anyone seeking to enroll in the facilitator training program. Enrollment isn’t limited to psychotherapists or psychiatrists. 

Although the Department of Regulatory Affairs is ultimately responsible for developing the training programs that define requirements for receiving a facilitator license, Prop 122 mandates a tiered training program and details the services provided by a facilitator.

In the regulated model, this tiered training program essentially outlines different licensing levels that can be awarded based on experience and credentials. It will help qualify which facilitators are suited to work with certain types of journeyers, depending on what they’re seeking. 

For example, someone who is tripsitting another person with the simple intent to hold space might not require previous licensure. On the other hand, someone who is facilitating a trauma-centered psychedelic session may be required to hold professional counseling licensure. 

Kappel shares, “You can create a pathway where people actually have hands-on experience and can progress just based on doing the work… The idea here is how do we create a stackable equity-based career pathway that allows people to come in?”

He tells us that many factors related to the facilitator training program have yet to be fleshed out. There are still questions surrounding how many training hours the program will require, and how the state will address mandates for creating an equitable program.

“Through this community process, I think we’ll see a lot of changes and tweaks. What is the difference between a facilitator that’s providing nondirective services versus therapy-related services, and what should those requirements look like?” 

What we know for sure though, is that facilitators don’t have to be linked to a healing center in order to service psychedelic journeys. They have the freedom to create their own facilitator network. 

Later, we’ll explain exactly why Proposition 122 emphasized a facilitator’s ability to work independent of a healing center. We’ll review application release dates for healing centers and for the facilitator training program, as well as criteria that healing centers must meet before being approved to provide medicine services.   

Civil Protections & Limitations Held by Proposition 122

Probation and Parole

Proposition 122 grants protection to people who are on probation and parole, allowing them to legally participate in the use of natural medicines. A move like this is massive, especially considering that year over year, more people are arrested in the United States for drug possession than any other type of crime. 

In fact, in a state as progressive as California, statistics show that one in three drug-related arrests involve someone on probation or parole. Without a doubt, this civil protection is a much needed departure from the antiquated justice systems that feed and propagate mass incarceration through criminal conviction discrimination.

On another end, the decision to grant people on probation and parole access to psychedelics, may serve to further reduce incarceration rates for violent offenses. 

In a 2018 study conducted by Peter Hendricks and colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, researchers found that lifetime classic psychedelic use was associated with reduced odds of committing past year larceny, theft, assault, property crime, and violent crime.

In contrast, lifetime use of almost all other illicit drugs was associated with increased odds of these outcomes. Kappel says, “You don’t see the same public health issues around psychedelics as you see around aggressive non healing-based drugs.”

The Veterans Association 

Though laws have since changed, the decriminalization of cannabis did not originally grant civil protection to veterans. This meant that the Veterans Association (VA) had the right to terminate the healthcare, education, and financial benefits of a veteran, if drug tests detected cannabis in their system.

So how exactly does Colorado Prop 122 affect veterans’ ability to qualify for benefits if they test positive for natural psychedelics? This piece is a bit tricky, specifically because the VA is a federal institution.

At this time, it’s unclear how the VA will address natural psychedelic use by veterans, on the personal use end. However, Kappel tells us that because there are already people working on this VA issue, there is hope for veteran access to psychedelic medicine.

Child Rearing

A significant protection granted by the proposition surrounds child rearing, both in terms of child endangerment and child custody issues, as well as divorce and separation proceedings. For example, the fact that one parent is microdosing natural psychedelics cannot be used in the court of law to prove or suggest child endangerment or negligence. 

Of course, this protection wouldn’t be granted if the parent in question were to violate distribution regulations by allowing the child access to these drugs or to the area in which the medicine is being cultivated, processed, or stored.

Public Assistance

There are protections on the civil side around public assistance. With that said, many public assistance programs are delivered through the federal government or quasi-federal government in states. With matters like housing assistance, it remains unclear how these programs will react to natural psychedelic use, or if it’ll even present itself as a problem. 

This uncertainty largely pertains to federally funded assistance programs that are administered by the State of Colorado. Who will have jurisdiction in this blurry space? The state or the federal government? 

Kappel says, “When we saw this become an issue in cannabis, it was because people are growing cannabis, which is just a more observable plant than mushrooms.” 

He notes, “Where the illegality has come in historically is around processing it. What this measure actually does is now it would allow you to process these natural plants for personal use.”

Considering that many natural psychedelics were already legal to grow in Colorado, it’s safe to say that the cultivation and processing of psychedelic medicine will have a much smaller effect on public assistance eligibility, than cannabis cultivation has had in the past. 

Medical Equity

There also exist protections around receiving medical care. Kappel tells us, “A big issue we saw in the cannabis space is people being denied organ transplants because they were engaging in illegal drugs.” With Colorado Proposition 122, no one can be denied medical care simply because they’re engaging in natural psychedelic medicine use. 

Today, many more legal protections exist to prevent discrimination against medical cannabis patients, but psychedelic reform efforts seem to be getting a jumpstart– preventing the problem before it even begins.

Employee Protection

Proposition 122 doesn’t provide employee protection. Though not all drug tests screen for psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, or DMT, if your company mandates these tests, Proposition 122 cannot protect you from being out of compliance with your job’s policies. 

“This is key especially if you’re a federal contractor, you’re working with a high-security job, or a safety-sensitive job”, says Kappel. It’s very important to take this piece into consideration, especially because a large part of the population microdoses to optimize work performance.

Though microdoses are sub-perceptual, Prop 122 cannot protect an employee from termination for being under the influence of psychedelics while on the job.

Thankfully we’re moving more towards a world where employers find that drug tests are like a blunt instrument of measuring employee job performance [which] doesn’t work. You actually won’t have a lot of employees if that’s the case in Colorado”, adds Kappel.

What Colorado Prop 122 Learned From Cannabis Legislation

As we’ve mentioned, cannabis legislation has heavily influenced the way that policy makers address psychedelic reform. For one, Proposition 122 doesn’t create a recreational model where you can just run to a dispensary or a storefront to buy psychedelics, as Amendment 64 and other cannabis regulations have.

This was done very intentionally. “The idea on the personal use side is really for communities to grow it together and to share it”, says Kappel. This approach makes a lot of sense, especially considering the connective nature of psychedelic experiences.

Natural psychedelic medicines have a rich history of healing across various cultures, many of which predate recorded history. Cave paintings and Mayan mushroom carvings tell stories of the deeply intimate relationship between humans and psychedelics.

To this day, modern indigenous cultures continue to revere entheogenic medicine. The ceremonial use of these medicines by the Mixtec, Mazatec, Zapatec, and Nahua peoples of Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, have essentially introduced our Western society to psychedelic healing.     

Because these indigenous cultures have directly influenced our Western understanding of psychedelic healing, policy makers are working overtime to ensure that the integrity of community healing practices aren’t eroded by the commercialization of psychedelics.

Policy drafters like Joshua Kappel, aim to preserve and honor the ancient roots of psychedelic healing, while writing legislation that adapts to the scientific advancements and cultural dynamics of American society. 

By limiting commercialization, psychedelic medicine use in the U.S. is set up to more closely mirror indigenous use. In indigenous cultures, local healers provide healing services, oftentimes at no cost, simply to service their community’s members. 

Cofounder of Psychedelic Passage adds, “It’s not designed to be for profit, it’s designed to be for impact.” To this point, writers of Prop 122 placed an emphasis on allowing facilitators agency over their work. A big problem that was evident in the early cannabis industry is that all growers had to work for a dispensary. 

Kappell says, “It was like forced vertical integration… They’ll (facilitators) be able to go to people’s houses, they’ll be able to go to nursing homes, they’ll be able to organize collectively amongst themselves.”

It’s also important to note that the first few years of the cannabis industry was heavily driven by medicinal programs and structures. Today, the cannabis industry is saturated with commercialization. 

It’s all about the next recreational market and the next recreational state, and not so much about improving therapeutic models and advancing scientific knowledge on medical applications

Considering how only a handful of players control 80% of the recreational cannabis market in Illinois, the next section takes a deep dive into why commercialization threatens the integrity of psychedelic healing practices, and how Proposition 122 aims to combat this.

How Prop 122 Combats Monopoly Over The Psychedelic Industry 

By prohibiting the sale and commercialization of sharing natural medicines, Colorado Prop 122 aims to prevent monopoly power over the psychedelic industry. In an industry like this, exploitation for financial gain can be incredibly dangerous to consumers. Kappel shares:

“I think that there’s a lot of risks with just unchecked extractive capitalism. What does it mean when companies come in and they’re looking to extract as much as they can from a community and profit off of it? We’ve seen that in almost every industry in the world.”

Not only would it corrupt the therapeutic trust that journeyers have in psychedelic facilitators and therapists, but it has the potential to cause dangerous power imbalances between professionals and vulnerable clients. Luckily, some counter-capitalist factors are already naturally embedded within psychedelics, specifically in relation to frequency of use.

Psychedelic Passage cofounder, Jimmy Nguyen, says “When folks have a big psychedelic experience, unless they’re in a specific ceremony or lineage or retreat structure where they’re communing with the medicine a couple of nights in a row, likely you’re not going to want to go back and have that experience right away.”

“Even with microdosing regimens, where folks are using specific medicines daily, or two days on, one day off, or three, four days in the week or whatnot, they’re small amounts”, adds Nguyen.

Embedded within the natural process of psychedelic use, are counter-capitalistic factors (transformative experiences, non-addictive potential, etc.) that inherently deter people from engaging with psychedelic medicine out of moderation and in the typical over consuming fashion of American culture. 

Commercialization of the natural psychedelic medicine industry would also result in severe quality-of-care reductions– an issue already evident in the ketamine therapy industry. Because ketamine was already legal in the U.S. before receiving approval for off-label use, the ketamine therapy industry exploded virtually overnight. 

This meant that regulations and protocols for quality of care weren’t properly established to ensure adequate therapeutic support. The lack of legal accountability for upholding safety and wellness standards have led ketamine clinic owners to prioritize profit over quality-based health care.

The pitfalls of ketamine therapy run so deep that nearly 50% of Psychedelic Passage clients approach us due to failed ketamine therapy or short-lived benefits. We should emphasize that this has nothing to do with the efficacy of the drug itself.

Instead, clients often report receiving little to no preparation and integration support before and after their ketamine journey. In fact, in most cases, a professional is not present for the client’s entire journey. 

It’s common for clients to be left in a room, journeying on ketamine, while a nurse practitioner comes in every now and then to check on their IV. The reason for this lack of therapeutic support comes down to one thing: increasing profit at the expense of quality care.

To increase profit, clinic owners increase the number of people who can receive ketamine infusion therapy in one clinic, at one time. They do so by instructing care workers to distribute their time amongst more clients than is physically possible (if the goal is to provide adequate therapeutic support). 

We don’t want to see this happen in the psychedelic medicine industry, which is why policies like Colorado Prop 122 are genuinely invested in the future of ethical psychedelic policies and practices.

Kappel says, “I’m a firm believer that decriminalization without any limitations on the commercialization will lead to rampant unchecked capitalism, like really taking hold of this industry. And that’s not what we want. It’s not what I want right now.”

In tending to these issues right now, policy writers are essentially limiting the harms of capitalism by ensuring equity and justice-oriented structures are set in place before companies introduce commercialization through the Regulated Access model.

Prop 122 has set limitations on the number of Healing Centers that public companies can have an interest in. The decision to limit interest to no more than 5 healing centers could effectively prohibit public companies from being in the space because they’re unable to control who owns their shares. 

As the Regulated Access program continues to develop, we’ll learn more about how Colorado state aims to distinguish between individual and public company interest. Under the regulated model, Proposition 122 also mandates certain business practices that match community values. 

They’ve created an Environmental Social Governance (ESG) screen that will rank healing centers based on how much they pay their employees, the benefits they provide, their environmental standards, and energy use. Only if a company’s score is so high, can they participate in the space.

“Do you have sustainable agricultural practices? Do you have a transparent board? Do you have some benefit honoring program? Are you giving back to these intergenerational traditions and tribes that have kept this medicine sacred?”, adds Kappel.

With the ESG screen, companies can still race to plummet service costs, but the bar, or the “bottom line” is set substantially higher than all the other industries around. 

Also under the proposition, community healers are allowed to be paid for true harm reduction and support services. This inherently promotes a purpose-driven, rather than profit-driven approach to psychedelic healing services. Kappel says:

“What happens over the next couple of years, if it’s all stories of people abusing the personal use section, then when other states look at this, they’re only going to move forward on the regulated side of reform that excludes this community model. I think that would be the largest shame of this whole experiment.”

Thus, it’s our job as policy makers, psychedelic therapists and facilitators, writers, health care workers, journeyers, and humans, to ensure that our professional support services and personal use of psychedelics are backed by ethical, responsible, and intentional practices.

“There isn’t government oversight and without government oversight, we need community oversight and education, and we need to be supporting people and telling people what these medicines look like and what dosages are appropriate and how first-timers should use it.” 

Kappel adds, “There’s just a lot of opportunity here for the community to come together as a whole to protect and keep these personal use provisions sacred in many cases.”

How Oregon Measure 109 & 110 Helped Shape Colorado Prop 122

In the past few years, Oregon Measure 109 and 110 have gone into effect, making Oregon the first state to legalize psychedelic therapy. Like Proposition 122, Measures 109 and 110 approve statewide implementation of these policies.

However, these Oregon measures come with some design flaws, which authors of Colorado Proposition 122 used to inform and refine their policy writing. For one, Oregon Measure 110 isn’t retroactive, meaning it doesn’t apply to past convictions. Writers of Colorado Proposition 122 placed an emphasis on ensuring that the policy was retroactive. 

This means that Proposition 122 applies to all cases pending. “We saw this with the rabbi in Denver whose case was dismissed based off of Prop 122”, says Kappel. He adds, “Just recently that case was dismissed because when the prosecutors looked at Prop 122 and how it applied to this case, it said this conduct is legal from them.”

Proposition 122 also refined Oregon’s psychedelic measures by including a built-in record sealing component. Though paperwork must be filed before cashing in these benefits, those convicted of an offense that would now be legal under Proposition 122, are eligible for a streamlined record-sealing process.

On the regulated side, there exist a lot more similarities between Proposition 122 and Oregon Measure 109. Similarities include a mandated preparation and integration session, as well as a supervised administrative session. 

All three measures include a state licensing model for healing centers and a state licensing model for facilitators. However, Colorado’s proposition doesn’t confine psychedelic services to healing centers. Instead, it allows psychedelic sessions to be provided at a private residence.

One key piece that differentiates Colorado’s measure from Oregon’s is the inclusion of the Environmental Social Governance screen. Mandates that rank healing centers based on how much they pay their employees would’ve been incredibly helpful to Oregon’s measures, especially considering that the cost of their facilitator training programs range anywhere from 10 to 20k.

Oregon’s measures also designate any psychedelic support service as psychedelic-assisted therapy. This is a big departure from Prop 122, which doesn’t require any previous therapy training, and mandates tiered training programs which differentiate facilitators based on experience and therapeutic intent.

For some, the lack of formal education required by Prop 122, can be alarming. It can be argued that some people entering the field will not have the skills required to hold such raw and vulnerable space for another human being.

On the flip side though, the flexibility of Proposition 122 opens up doors for people from all different backgrounds– indigenous lineages, spiritual-religious folks, mental health professionals, peer supporters, and those that work in the harm reduction world.

Unlike the Oregon measures, Proposition 122 doesn’t allow local governments to ban healing centers from operating in their jurisdiction, though they are allowed to create zoning regulations. 

“To us, this is a key piece. We don’t think only progressive parts of the state need psychedelic healing. All parts of Colorado definitely need psychedelic healing”, Kappel adds.

The Difference Between Personal and Regulated Psychedelic Use

As we’ve mentioned, there are two motives behind Proposition 122– to establish a regulatory framework around psychedelics and psychedelic healing centers, and to decriminalize the possession, sharing, and personal/ community use of natural psychedelics.

Kappel says, “The Healing Centers are our one size fits all business entity in the space. They’re granted permission to cultivate, process, and sell products to each other, while also being allowed to provide medicine services.” Kappel adds:

“I think the best way to look at the regulated model is [that] this is the model designed for the public that doesn’t have access to natural psychedelics on their own, that’s not part of a psychedelic-based community.”

Unlike the personal use and community healing model which is already in effect, the Regulated Access program is expected to be developed over the next two years. During this time, an advisory board will be assembled. 

Members of the board will use input from the community and from stakeholders, to formulate recommendations that would then be accepted by the Department of Regulatory Affairs– the main agency tasked with regulating the Regulated Access program.

This advisory board was set to be appointed by the governor by the end of January 2023, with applications for the advisory board having closed at the end of December 2022. 

Once again, it’s important to note that under the regulated program, only psilocybin services are permitted. Compared to the personal/ community use model which protects the use, possession, and sharing of psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, and all of the cacti that contain mescaline, except for peyote.

The proposition allows natural medicine services to be provided at a private residence or in a healthcare facility. However, what that actually looks like will depend on how this regulatory process unfolds in the coming years. 

Until more structural developments are made within the Regulated Access program, several questions remain unclear. These include the number of facilitators required to be present for psychedelic ceremonies at private residences, if group sessions can be held at a private residence, and if there will be eligibility criteria for those seeking at-home support services.

It’ll also be interesting to see how the regulated model institutes service protocols for those living in health care facilities, addiction treatment centers, and nursing homes.

A significant mandate set in place by the regulated model revolves around developing an equitable program. The mandate says that the Department of Regulatory Affairs must establish policies and procedures that ensure the program is equitable and inclusive.

Kappel says this was done “to promote both the licensing and the vision of national medicine services to communities that’ve been disproportionately harmed by high rates of arrest, to people who face barriers to access healthcare, to folks of a traditional indigenous history of natural medicines or to veterans.” 

The vision for this equitable program involves reduced fees for licensure and facilitator training. It’s also intended to promote the provision of natural medicine services by reducing cost to low-income individuals, and by incentivizing geographical and cultural diversity.

The licensing fees paid by healing centers will provide funding for this equity program. A program will also be put in place to ensure the effectiveness of this equity program. 

Joshua says, “The big takeaway, I think, on this one and many pieces is like– Hey, we need to make sure this regulatory program turns out how we want it to turn out. 

That the limitations on the corporatization of this, or equity program, a meaningful facilitator training program, are actually effective and based on the best knowledge we have as a community.”

Expected Timelines For The Regulated Access Program

On January 1st of 2024, the state is expected to begin approving facilitator training programs. Thus, the ability to access a state-regulated licensed service provider for any type of psychedelic support or harm reduction service will not be available until 2024. 

In September of that year, the rules and regulations are expected to be set in place. At that point, applications for healing centers and facilities will be open. 2025 is a more accurate projection since an application, approval, and training process will be required before business owners can officially open up a psychedelic facility or healing center. 

Another key date is June 2026, which is when the state is given the opportunity to add other natural psychedelic medicines to the regulated program. These can include ayahuasca, DMT, mescaline that’s not derived from peyote, ibogaine, and Iboga.

Because the regulated model will require oversight by the state, some question if the state legislature will have sufficient intimate knowledge of psychedelic medicine to make informed legislative decisions on the matter. This is precisely why the advisory board has been created.

Kappel explains, “There’s specific expertise that’s required on the advisory board. The only saved seat that’s on the advisory board is for someone with experience in the indigenous use of natural medicines.”

Taking this into consideration, the benefits of a regulated model start to become more apparent. Aside from the ability to access these services through health insurance, the regulated model can help address sustainability and cultural issues, while mandating specific health screenings that help refine safety protocols. 

Closing Notes

Ultimately, the passing of Proposition 122 was a major milestone in Colorado’s history, and in the history of the United States. However, the real integrative work is only getting started. Though these provisions and mandates have been written, the establishment of these regulatory frameworks will tell the true tale of psychedelic decriminalization in Colorado.

For those who are interested in having a therapeutic psychedelic experience, but don’t know where to start, we empower you to book a consultation with our knowledgeable psychedelic concierges. They’ll help you get connected to our pre-vetted network of psychedelic facilitators who are located around the country, including Colorado state. 

Our network of facilitators offer full-service psychedelic guidance, including preparation, integration, and in-person ceremonial support. If you’re not ready for a full blown psychedelic experience, their microdosing coaching services may be more suited to your specific intentions.

As always, we emphasize that education is the number one way to increase public access to these transformative medicines. Thus, we invite you to look through our resources page for more informative and transparent articles like this one. Share your knowledge and voice your truth. That’s all for now, fellow psychonauts. Safe and mindful journeying!

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At Psychedelic Passage, we offer professional 1-on-1 guidance and companionship on your journey of healing. We simply can't sit back and let Americans continue to sit in silent suffering trying to battle mental health issues within a broken health care system, all while knowing that effective alternatives exist. We stand for the sacred, at-home, ceremonial use of psychedelics for consciousness exploration, which we believe to be a fundamental human right.


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