How to Get Legal Psychedelics in Colorado

Prop 122 enabled adults to have legal psychedelics in Colorado at certified centers under the care of licensed facilitators.
legal psilocybin mushrooms in Colorado
Author: Nicole LaMarco
By Nicole LaMarco
November 29, 2022

With the passing of the Natural Medicine Health Act (proposition 122), Colorado voters elected to decriminalize personal use of five psychedelic substances. Additionally, prop 122 enabled adults to have psychedelic therapy in Colorado at certified centers under the care of licensed facilitators. It is the most extensive psychedelic legalization measure to pass in the United States and a historic moment for the state of Colorado. Now that psychedelics have been decriminalized, many are left wondering how to get legal psychedelics in Colorado. 

Background 

Colorado ranks near the bottom of the list regarding mental health ratings for each state in the US. This may result from a lack of diversity in available mental health treatments. Before the election, treatment using psychedelics was one such unavailable option. Psychedelics, drugs that induce altered states and a perceived expansion of consciousness, are being studied for their positive effects on mental health conditions. However, many are still classified as illegal Schedule 1 substances with no medical use and a high risk of addiction since the 1970s. 

One approach involving psychedelics is called microdosing, in which a person ingests a sub-therapeutic dose of a particular psychedelic to receive the benefits without the hallucinogenic effects. Previously, microdosing was made difficult by the criminalization of psychedelic drugs. These substances were illegal, making obtaining them tricky. 

Furthermore, as licensed centers do not provide them, there was no regulation regarding the dosage or ingredients. Oregon passed a similar ballot in 2020, making it the first state to legalize psilocybin. The ballot measure in neighboring Oregon allowed the manufacture, delivery, and administration of psilocybin in certified centers. The passing of proposition 122 made legal psychedelics similarly accessible to Colorado residents. 

Follow your Curiosity

Sign up to receive our free psychedelic courses, 45 page eBook, and special offers delivered to your inbox.

Proposition 122 

When this ballot measure passed in Colorado in November 2022, it legalized natural psychedelic substances statewide (with caveats). Previously, Denver became the first city in the United States to decriminalize one psychedelic, psilocybin, with the passing of a 2019 proposal. Now, psilocybin is decriminalized in the entire state and will be available at licensed facilities beginning in 2024 through a psilocybin access program. In addition, growing and sharing of the following psychedelics have also been decriminalized: 

  • Psilocin
  • Psilocybin
  • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
  • Ibogaine
  • Mescaline
psilocybin mushrooms in colorado

It’s important to note that peyote is not in this measure. Psilocin and psilocybin are two psychedelic compounds found in what is commonly known as “magic mushrooms”. These five psychedelics will be available for use at facilities licensed by Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies. The facilities are known as “healing centers” where residents can purchase and consume psychedelics under appropriate supervision of a trained guide. 

It also decriminalizes growth, possession, transport, and personal use for Colorado residents over 21. As the regulated access program rolls out, Coloradoans will first receive access to psilocybin in late 2024. Depending on recommendations from the Natural Medicine Advisory Board, a governing body yet to be appointed by Colorado’s Governor, the program may include dimethyltryptamine (active substance in ayahuasca), mescaline, and ibogaine by 2026. 

Proposition 122 stated that individuals with past convictions involving the now-legalized substances will have their criminal records sealed. As a result, these past offenses will no longer appear on public records. 

How to Get Legal Psychedelics in Colorado

However, state programs which are primarily responsible for researching the positive effects of psychedelics to advocate for their legalization with the DEA are exempt from the initiatives of Prop 122. As they are federally regulated, these programs could jeopardize their DEA research licenses if they allow the purchasing or consumption of psychedelics under Prop 122. Psilocybin is still a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the eyes of the federal government. Additionally, no measure for retail sales by dispensaries is included in the ballot proposition, unlike cannabis. 

The first way citizens can access psychedelics, only psilocybin at this point, is through a licensed healing center. The healing center can sell and administer the substances while a person is at the facility. Through an appointment, people can take psychedelics while in a supervised setting. The healing centers cannot sell the psychedelic substance for personal use outside the center; they can only provide services in-house. Currently, counties and cities within the State of Colorado cannot opt-out as many counties did in Oregon in 2022. Still, they will be able to set policies and rules about where healing centers can open and dictate their hours of operation.  

Colorado residents age 21 or older can also grow, possess, and share these specific psychedelic substances for personal use. They cannot sell psychedelic substances for personal or commercial use. Citizens will not need a doctor’s approval to grow or take their own psychedelics. Essentially, this means that adults over 21 could grow mushrooms containing psilocybin or psilocin and then possess and personally use them.  

legal psychedelics in Colorado

How people first obtain the psychedelics can vary. Magic mushrooms, which contain psilocybin and psilocin, are naturally occurring fungi and easy to grow at home. An adult over the age of 21 who possesses them could legally share or gift, but not sell, them with another adult over the age of 21. Traditionally, those wanting to take psychedelics have had to procure them through networking or asking around, as they were illegal in nearly all of the United States. 

Psychedelics may also be sold on the grey market, an unauthorized distribution channel outside the distributor’s regular market. However, it is still illegal to sell and buy psychedelics, and there is no way to verify the dose or contents of the substance you purchase. Other countries, such as Jamaica, offer psychedelic experiences in the form of legal psilocybin retreats. There, the substance is administered by a facilitator at the retreat and cannot be bought or sold for patrons to take home.  

Alternatively, you can find three types of psychedelically potent mushrooms in the United States Pacific Northwest: Psilocybe cyanescens, Psilocybe allenii, and Psilocybe ovoideocysidiata. These fungi could presumably be sourced from nature and grown in a person’s home.  

Looking Ahead for Psychedelics in Colorado  

Colorado’s Governor must appoint members to the fifteen-person advisory board, known as the Natural Medicine Advisory Board. The board will deliver their first recommendation regarding legal psychedelics in Colorado at healing centers operations by September 30, 2023. The panel will continue to assess and direct the enactment of Proposition 122, including when the other plant-based psychedelic substances will be added to the program.

Follow your Curiosity

Sign up to receive our free psychedelic courses, 45 page eBook, and special offers delivered to your inbox.

Published by:
Author: Nicole LaMarco
Nicole LaMarco
Nicole Lamarco is a freelance health writer with 18 years of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Psych Central, Healthgrades, Eat This Not That, Verywell Fit, and other health-related media. Check out her website Nicole LaMarco.

You may also be interested in: