🫠 This Week in Psychedelics

[5-min read] Utah legalizes psychedelic therapy.

Welcome to Tricycle Day. Psychedelics aren’t boring. Following the psychedelic news shouldn’t be either. (If you’re yawning, we’re doing it wrong. Give us feedback at the bottom of this email.) ✍️

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Here’s what we got this week.

  • Utah legalizes psychedelic therapy 🍄

  • Numinus explores MDMA in groups 👪

  • Gray market shroom brands, exposed 🍫

  • Where to meet psychonauts and seekers 🪽

FROM OUR SPONSORS
Odyssey PBC

You’ve seen the jaw-dropping results out of these psychedelic clinical trials.

The question is: how can a regular person have a similar experience without joining a study?

And the answer is Odyssey. They hosted the first legal psilocybin retreat in the US.

Whether you come for a group retreat or private sessions, their protocols are modeled after clinical trials and rooted in science. Plus, you’ll integrate in nature with their expert facilitators. It’s really a best-of-both-worlds situation.

(Don’t worry. No one’s getting placebo here.)

MICRODOSES
🔬 Research

Aspirational medicine: Usona Institute launched uAspire, its Phase 3 trial of psilocybin for major depression.
Sobering data: Researchers at University of Calgary are studying psilocybin therapy for alcohol use disorder.
Therapeutic alliance: A collaborative relationship between patient and psilocybin-assisted therapist led to better outcomes and more profound insights.
This too shall pass: A review of several psilocybin studies found that all side effects resolved within 48 hours.
Of mice and men: Preclinical research at University of Guelph will explore psilocybin as a treatment for autism spectrum disorders.
Weaners’ warning: Discontinuing SSRIs or SNRIs before taking psilocybin may reduce psilocybin’s antidepressant effects.

🏛️ Policy

Protect and serve: Police officers are calling on the UN to let their fellow cops take MDMA.
Buzzkill: The director of NIDA doubts ibogaine will ever receive FDA approval.
Devil’s in the details: US politicians and advocates are arguing over the “right way” to reform psychedelic policy.
History doesn’t repeat itself; it rhymes: A drug law expert muses on what cannabis policy reform can tell us about the future of psychedelics.
Was that totally necessary? A full SWAT team raided a man’s home over an Ayahuasca delivery.

📈 Business

Big money, no whammies: Cybin raised $150 million to fuel the development of its breakthrough therapy in major depression.
All around the world: Filament Health’s botanical psilocybin is the research material of choice for research institutions in four countries.
Payback time: Alberta Blue Cross is the first insurance provider in Canada to cover psychedelic-assisted therapy.
FreeMind: reMind made all the content from its 2023 Psychedelic Business Forum free and open access.

🫠 Just for fun

No late fees: This psychedelic textbook was checked out for 37 years.
Let the man RIP: Psychedelic research pioneer, Roland Griffiths, is taking some heat for his spiritual beliefs.
Meme of the week: The gov’t when you want to expand access to plant medicine

THE PEAK EXPERIENCE
Hold my beer

The next great psychedelic state

Okay, Utah. We see you.

While everyone’s been waiting on California and Massachusetts to legalize psychedelics, Utah lawmakers really said “hold my beer.” (err, hold our mushrooms?)

A new bill approved this week will allow Utah doctors to prescribe MDMA and psilocybin for their adult mental health patients. That makes Utah the first state in the US to authorize the use of psychedelics as a medical treatment.

Even though both substances are still unapproved at the federal level, the new policy will go live on May 1. It does come with a few caveats, though.

  • 🍄 Psilocybin and MDMA only: No funny business with LSD, DMT, mescaline, or any other controlled substances… for now.

  • 🧑‍⚕️ No take-home doses: Treatment must be administered at hospital, under clinical supervision.

  • 🏥 For select providers only: The program is only open to docs at hospital systems that that meet specific requirements.

  • 📊 Report cards required: Providers are expected to report patient outcomes and side effects back to the state by July 2026.

Technically, Gov. Spencer Cox didn’t sign the bill, but he’s allowing it to go into effect anyway. Kinda weird, but okay.

It seems like he’s a little butthurt that Utah’s psychedelic task force, which was set up specifically to advise the legislature on how to study psilocybin, was ignored. (They recommended waiting for FDA approval.)

We send you our compassion, Governor Cox. The good news is, if this spirals into a mental health episode, you do have some great treatment options. 🫠

AFTERGLOW

Ain’t nobody got cash for that

One of the biggest hangups around psychedelic-assisted therapy, even among supporters, is the cost. The issue isn’t the medicine. Let’s be real—shrooms can literally grow on poop. It’s the therapy. When you work 1:1 with a therapist for hours on end (with or without drugs), you’re gonna run up a hefty bill. That’s why companies like Numinus are trying to figure out if group psychedelic therapy could be just as effective.

This week, Numinus applied to run a clinical trial in Canada that would explore group models for MDMA-assisted therapy. If approved, the Phase 1 trial would accomplish a few goals: dial in the optimal therapist-to-patient ratio, establish best practices and protocols, and give trainee practitioners a legal way to experience MDMA themselves.

Side note: Can you imagine getting psychedelic therapy from someone who’d never tripped? That’d make about as much sense as putting out a life-saving treatment that no one can afford.

Buyer beware

There’s a reason the “gray market” got its name. When it comes to underground mushroom products, sure there are plenty of high-quality, handcrafted goodies out there. But there’s also a dark side. This week, our suspicions were confirmed. According to a forthcoming report from DoubleBlind and Oakland Hyphae, many of the most popular shroom CPG brands contain no psilocybin whatsoever.

We’re not talking about functional mushroom products, either. These candies are wrapped in packaging and labels that claim all kinds of “magical” benefits. And if you eat them, you probably will trip. But the big secret is, most are made with a different, synthetic compound called 4-AcO-DMT (aka psilacetin). Like psilocybin, psilacetin metabolizes to psilocin in the body.

Not gonna lie; PolkaDot had us fooled. But even if the psychedelic effects are indistinguishable, violating customers’ trust is not a good look. So, next time you’re at a gas station, eyeing a chocolate bar in blatant IP infringement of Disney or Nintendo, maybe think twice.

CYCLISTS’ PICKS
UNTIL NEXT TIME

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ONE CYCLIST’S REVIEW
Feeling euphoric

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DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. The use, possession, and distribution of psychedelic drugs are illegal in most countries and may result in criminal prosecution.

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