CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES & REGULATORY LAW UPDATE – JANUARY 2022

Posted on January 6th, 2023

New York Lawmakers Introduce Psychedelics Legalization Bill

New York state lawmakers introduced a bill to legalize natural psychedelics including psilocybin.  A.B. 114, originally intended to be introduced in the 2023-2024 legislative session, was proposed last week by Democratic Assembly members Linda Rosenthal, Jo Anne Simon, and Karines Reyes, according to a report from Marijuana Moment.

If passed, the bill would amend New York state law to legalize the “possession, use, cultivation, production, creation, analysis, gifting, exchange, or sharing by or between natural persons of twenty-one years of age or older of a natural plant or fungus-based hallucinogen.”  Included in the “plant or fungus based hallucinogens,” covered by the bill are DMT, mescaline, psilocybin and psilocin.

In recognition of the rapidly evolving perception of plant and fungus-based hallucinogens, the proposed bill also seeks to remove these drugs from Schedule 1 of New York’s list of controlled substances, offers legal protections to individuals who lawfully use natural psychedelics, and prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with U.S. agencies which criminalize natural psychedelic drugs.

New Jersey’s Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act Seeks Legalization and Home Growth of Psilocybin

New Jersey Assembly Bill 4911, introduced to the Senate and Assembly, would decriminalize psilocybin, authorize personal use, and expungements for certain offenses involving psilocybin production, possession and distribution.

Titled the “Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act,” the legislation would legalize the possession and distribution of up to 4 grams of psilocybin for adults 21 and over, and allow adults to cultivate mushrooms capable of producing psilocybin for personal use.

The proposed law also would create the Department of Health Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Advisory Board to oversee the process, a legal and regulatory structure to establish psilocybin service centers for treating patients, and for the commercial production of psilocybin.

Ansell’s Psychedelics Practice

On the heels of its successful cannabis practice, which has included numerous granted licenses for its clients as well as successes in Court litigating cannabis matters, last year the Firm expanded into the realm of psychedelics.

The Firm has an established record in the cannabis space enabling us to serve our clients unlike any other area law firm. By example, we co-hosted the first-ever Cannabis Symposium in New Jersey which drew nearly a thousand people (two other Symposia followed). Joshua S. Bauchner, head of the practice group, is co-chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Cannabis Law Committee, has spoken at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo at the Jacob Javits Center, and has presented CLE’s on cannabis at the NY and NJ State Bar Associations, and at the NORML Legal Conference in Aspen, among other fora across the country.  He also recently was honored by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of its “2022 Innovators of the Year” for his work in the controlled substances space.

The Firm also was honored by the New Jersey Cannabis Insider as one of three finalists for Excellence in Cannabis Law and has been covered by numerous media outlets and published widely on the topic.

Please contact Joshua Bauchner (jb@ansellgrimm.com) or Kelsey Barber (kbarber@ansellgrimm.com) or call (973) 247-9000 if you are interested in exploring opportunities in the legalized psychedelics arena.