Work group announced to explore local regulations for natural medicine

Published on February 29, 2024

Picture of growing mushrooms

The City and County of Denver is exploring if the city should develop local regulations for natural medicine, such as psilocybin mushrooms, to protect public safety. Following local and state ballot initiatives in 2019 and 2022 addressing natural medicine, the Colorado legislature passed Colorado Senate Bill 23-290 in 2023, authorizing local jurisdictions to adopt local licenses for natural medicine healing centers, cultivation facilities, manufacturing, and testing facilities.

The Department of Excise and Licenses is forming a natural medicine workgroup with representatives from various Denver government agencies and stakeholders to review, discuss, and make recommendations on local natural medicine policy. The Department of Excise and Licenses is seeking community members and stakeholders with expertise in natural medicine, public health, public safety, youth advocacy, social justice and tribal and indigenous interests to serve on the workgroup. The city will hold four virtual meetings between March and June. The deadline for interested stakeholders to apply to serve on the workgroup is March 13 at 5 p.m. Interested stakeholders can apply using this online form or find other information on the city website.

"We're determined to follow a similar process in exploring regulations like Denver did when we became the first city in America with legalized recreational marijuana sales," said Molly Duplechian, Executive Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses. "We will use the Denver collaborative approach with many Denver government agencies working together with the community and various stakeholders to look at how we can protect public health and safety while also achieving the will of the voters who supported state and local ballot initiatives in 2019 and 2022."

The committee will begin work with an established baseline of information as a result of a report(PDF, 3MB) completed by the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Panel. The Department would use recommendations from the work group to propose any necessary ordinance changes to City Council before the state begins issuing licenses.

The Department of Excise and Licenses is also following the state's Division of Natural Medicine public outreach and rulemaking processes currently underway for natural medicine facilitators and facilities.