Psilocybin Treatment Centers Bill Vetoed by Arizona Governor

by | Cannabis Times

 vetoed a bill that would have allowed the use of psilocybin in licensed treatment centers.

Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Psilocybin Therapy in Treatment Centers

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs made a bold move on June 18, vetoing a bill that would have opened the doors for psilocybin therapy in designated treatment centers. The bill, known as House Bill 1570, aimed to allocate $5 million in annual funding for the therapy and establish a program to regulate and license therapy centers and facilitators.

Department of Human Services to Oversee Program

Under the proposed bill, the Department of Human Services would have been responsible for developing a regulated approach to licensing therapy centers and training facilitators to assist patients through the psilocybin experience. The bill also called for the creation of an Arizona Psilocybin Advisory Board, made up of a diverse group of members including the governor, attorney general’s office officials, military veterans, first responders, physicians, and researchers.

Governor Hobbs Explains Veto Decision

In her veto statement, Governor Hobbs explained her reasoning for rejecting the bill. She cited the recent annual report from the state’s psilocybin research advisory board, which stated that while psilocybin may hold promise as a treatment, there is not enough evidence to support widespread clinical expansion. Hobbs also expressed concern for the safety and well-being of patients, stating that they should not be subjected to unproven therapies without proper oversight.

Cost and Budget Concerns

Governor Hobbs also noted that the cost of $400,000 per year was not included in the FY25 budget. However, she assured that the $5 million allocated for psilocybin research in last year’s budget will continue to be available for ongoing studies. The goal, according to Hobbs, is to ensure that psilocybin treatment is conducted safely and effectively under the supervision of qualified professionals with documented research to support its use.

Disappointment and Determination from Bill Sponsor

T.J. Shope, the sponsor of House Bill 1570, expressed disappointment in the veto and vowed to continue fighting for the mental health care of veterans and first responders. In a text message shared on social media by local Arizona news outlet The Center Square, Shope stated that he would have pushed to override the veto if the legislature was still in session. He remains determined to reintroduce the bill next year and provide Arizonans with access to psilocybin therapy within their own state.

Arizona Joins California in Vetoed Psilocybin Bill

Arizona is not alone in facing a vetoed psilocybin treatment centers bill. In October 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom also vetoed a similar bill, despite bipartisan support. This decision means that for now, individuals seeking psilocybin therapy will have to continue seeking treatment outside of their own state and country. It’s a sad day for those who have sacrificed for our country and are in need of mental health care.