Colorado Psychedelics Update: Natural Medicine Regulation and Legalization Bill Introduced in Colorado Legislature

By Joshua Kappel, Barine Majewska

Apr 19, 2023

Yesterday SB23-290 was introduced in the Colorado Legislature to amend and implement Proposition 122, the Natural Medicine Health Act that was passed by Colorado voters in November (NMHA). There will be a public hearing on this bill tomorrow. If passed, SB23-290 would completely replace the NMHA.

SB23-290 makes significant changes to the NMHA. From a regulatory standpoint, a lot of thoughtful work has gone into this bill. In many ways, SB23-290 expands and improves upon the framework of the NMHA to provide safe and equitable access to natural psychedelic medicines, including:

  • Involves the Department of Revenue to regulate the business and supply side of the Natural Medicine Program

  • Creates an indigenous community working group to understand issues related to the commercialization of natural medicine impacting indigenous people and communities

  • Creates additional safety protocols

  • Permits businesses licensed under the NMHA to deduct expenses on their state income taxes, where those deductions are not allowed under 280E of the federal tax code

Unfortunately, on the personal and communal use section, SB23-290 deviates from the intent of the NMHA in some key areas. Specifically, SB23-290:

  • Creates new crimes and imposes fines for growing natural medicines outside of an enclosed locked space

  • Criminalizes leaders of traditional, religious or spiritual ceremonies involving natural medicines receiving anything of value in exchange for their services, including money, property or services

  • Removes the protections that permitted providers of “bona fide harm reduction services, bona fide therapy services or other bona fide support services” to receive payment for their time and services

What can you do?

Tomorrow, April 20, there will be a public hearing on SB23-290 in the Senate Finance Committee starting upon adjournment of the Senate in the morning. We expect this hearing to start no earlier than 10:30 a.m. You can testify in person or remotely by signing up here.

Sign up for psychedelic and emerging therapies email updates from Vicente LLP and follow us on Twitter for timely updates related to SB23-290 and the implementation of the NMHA.

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