Natural Medicine Health Act (NMHA) & Legalization of Psychedelics in Colorado
Colorado voters decided in favor of Proposition 122 in the November 2022 mid-term election, named the Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022 (NMHA), which will legalize a host of psychedelics in Colorado.
Colorado’s Psychedelics Legalization Rules Follow Oregon's, to Some Extent
NMHA has adopted many rules from Oregon’s Measure Ballot 109 and added to it to make it broader. The Department of Regulatory Affairs (DRA) would have jurisdiction over Colorado licensing. NMHA would also establish a Natural Medicine Advisory Board (NMAB) similar to how Oregon created the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board. The NMAB would convene no later than January 31, 2023, made up of 15 members appointed by Colorado’s governor, and would be in charge of drafting rules and guidelines with public consultation.
NMBA must have rules and guidelines for natural health & healing centers developed and ready for implementation of MNHA by September 1, 2024, with the rules and qualifications of natural health facilitators to be developed no later January 1, 2024. Unlike Oregon’s Measure Ballot 109 where municipalities could opt out, NMHA is pretty clear that localities in Colorado cannot ban or completely prohibit licensed healing centers or health-care facilities, ban transportation of natural medicine on public roads by licensees, or otherwise adopt regulations that are unreasonable or conflict with NMHA.
What does this mean for therapists interested in
psilocybin assisted therapy?
Much like Measure Ballot 109 in Oregon, psilocybin in Colorado will be offered as a service and not advertised as therapy. In order to provide this treatment in a therapy context, psilocybin must first be designated by the FDA as a legal therapy drug. As a result, Colorado will separate the medicine journey from the therapy. This model offers therapy providers wishing to participate in psychedelic assisted therapy a great opportunity, especially those who practice in Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas… in other words, easy travel proximity of Colorado, to offer psilocybin assisted therapy.
Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy & Psychedelic Experiences Can Occur in Different States
Psilocybin assisted therapy can be broken down into three main components: preparation, experience and integration. Colorado’s framework will cover just the experience portion of the three. Psychotherapy does not occur at the time of the experiential journey due to the disoriented effects of psilocybin, leaving the two psychotherapy components of preparation and integration to be completed by a therapist.
As a psychedelic therapist, your role is to help patients prepare for the experience beforehand, and to assist them in integrating or “unpacking” their deeply personal experiences into everyday life applications. This therapy work does not have to be completed in the same state as the psychedelic experience.
Using this system of dual roles comes with benefits, as it is more cost effective for clients to have their 4-6 hrs experience with a psychedelic facilitator. Clients can be referred to Colorado or Oregon for a facilitated experience while you provide the psychedelic psychotherapy. With ATMA’s training, you will also be able to assist individuals with integration who have sought out their own psilocybin experiences in an effort to relieve their mental health concerns.
Does Therapy Have to Accompany a Natural Health Center Experience?
Some expect Colorado’s guidelines will spur tens of thousands of people to seek a psychedelic experience at the natural health centers available in Colorado and Oregon, with the belief it could help their mental health conditions without the assistance of psychotherapy. ATMA believes in most cases, this is unlikely.
The need for trained and available psychedelic therapists will become paramount as more people seek out alternative treatments to relieve their mental health sufferings. To ensure those seeking these services get the pre and post-treatment they need to achieve (too much space between to and achieve online) the breakthrough these treatments were meant to provide, many more trained therapists will be needed. ATMA hopes their ground-breaking programs can help bridge this gap. There are too few therapists trained in psychedelic assisted therapy available, and ATMA hopes therapists will see the same need and will help bridge the gap.
How can ATMA help you become a psychedelic therapist?
ATMA is pioneering a healthcare professional centred business model for the psychedelic industry, by providing education, training, clinical trials, and business support services for the largest community of psychedelic practitioners. Our platform provides practitioners a path to participate in psychedelic-assisted therapies.
Have questions or want to learn more about psychedelic assisted therapy for Colorado and proximity of Colorado?
Join any of our monthly Live Webinar Information Session where all Q&As are welcome.