Lisa Gora, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Newark office, co-authored an article in the New Jersey Law Journal, titled “Magic Mushrooms in the Garden State? A Look into the Proposed Psilocybin Legal Landscape in New Jersey.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The past three years have been monumental for psilocybin, a term that had not seen much popularity in the news or our legal system prior to the past 10 years. This compound naturally occurs in psilocybin mushrooms, better known colloquially and in popular culture as “magic mushrooms.” It is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance, like cannabis; both were categorized as such in 1970 as part of the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

This status means that it is illegal to possess, obtain, distribute or produce psilocybin, regardless of the purpose for its use. Additionally, currently it has no accepted medical use and lacks accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Similar to cannabis legislation, psilocybin has seen movement in state legislatures toward efforts of decriminalization, de-prioritization and, in some cases, legalization of its use for scientific and medical research.

New Jersey is the latest example of such recent movement. On June 23, 2022, Senate President, Senator Nick Scutari, introduced the “Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act” (the “Psilocybin Behavioral Act”) in an effort to authorize the production of psilocybin for therapeutic use under a controlled environment, and to decriminalize and expunge past conviction for certain psilocybin-related conduct. The purpose of this bill and the value Senator Scutari sees for New Jersey in adopting such a bill should be contrasted with what has been seen in other states with respect to psilocybin use.

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