Type: Law Bulletins
Date: 01/13/2023

Summary of the Illinois Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens (CURE) Act

Key Points of the Illinois CURE Act:

  • Legalizes the licensed provision of psilocybin in Illinois.
  • Expunges certain records related to psilocybin possession.
  • Creates four types of licenses related to the provision of psilocybin:
    • Psilocybin Product Manufacturing License;
    • Service Center Operator License;
    • Psilocybin Services Facilitator License; and
    • Psilocybin Products Testing License.
  • Creates the Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board within the Illinois Department of Health.
  • Implements the provision of psilocybin services over a two-year period.
  • Imposes a 15% sales tax on psilocybin products.
  • Allows cities and counties to “opt-out” of permitting the provision of psilocybin.

 Summary of the Illinois CURE Act

Overview: The Illinois CURE Act is sponsored by Illinois State Representative La Shawn K. Ford as House Bill 00001. The Illinois Cure Act regulates and licenses the provision of psilocybin products in Illinois.

Under the bill, a psilocybin product is defined as a psilocybin-producing fungi or mixtures of substances containing a detectable amount of psilocybin. The text of the proposed legislation can be found here.

Findings and Purpose: Currently, psilocybin is labeled as a Schedule I drug under federal law. This means that psilocybin is considered an illegal substance with no acceptable medical use and may not be cultivated or possessed for either personal consumption or distribution.

Even still, the FDA has granted psilocybin a “breakthrough therapy” designation for the treatment of a major depressive disorder, among other behavioral and mental health disorders. This designation allows for accelerated clinical trials to test the efficacy and safety of psilocybin therapies.

Regulatory Framework: If passed, the Illinois CURE Act directs the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to regulate and license the manufacture, delivery, sale, and administration of psilocybin, a component found in certain mushrooms, at licensed psilocybin service centers. An individual, called a “client” under the bill, must be 18 years of age or older to be administered psilocybin at a service center.

Four Types of Licenses: The Illinois CURE Act provides four types of licenses available by application through the IDPH:

  1. Psilocybin Product Manufacturing License;
  2. Service Center Operator License;
  3. Psilocybin Services Facilitator License; and
  4. Psilocybin Products Testing License.

Each license has additional, specific application requirements and is subject to further rulemaking by the IDPH.

Logistics of Psilocybin Services: The regulatory framework further provides logistical insights regarding the structure of the psilocybin services industry and the provision of psilocybin products. Under the bill, a client may go to a service center to be administered psilocybin products by a facilitator. Of note, the bill specifically prohibits the IDPH from requiring a client to be diagnosed with a particular medical condition to be administered psilocybin.

Regarding terminology, a service center is an establishment that provides psilocybin services, which includes the administration of psilocybin products. There are currently three main types of psilocybin services that may be provided under the supervision of a facilitator — meaning an individual who facilitates and administers psilocybin to clients — which include: (1) a preparation session; (2) an administration session; and (3) an integration session. 

During a preparation session, a client is required to meet with a licensed facilitator before he or she may participate in an administration session. This meeting, however, need not occur at the service center. During an administration session, which must occur at a service center, a client consumes and experiences the effects of a psilocybin product under the supervision of a facilitator.

Finally, the facilitator who supervised the administration session must offer the client an opportunity to participate in the integration session. However, a client may decline participation in an integration session. The IDPH will provide further rulemaking regarding the requirements, specifications, and guidelines for the provision of psilocybin.

Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board: The bill further establishes the Illinois Psilocybin Advisory Board (Advisory Board) to advise and make recommendations to the IDPH regarding psilocybin, including recommendations regarding the requirements, specifications, and guidelines for providing psilocybin services to clients, public health and safety standards, and industry best practices. The Advisory Board will include around 20 members with various backgrounds in mental health, public health, clinical research, medical backgrounds, and mycology, among others, from both the public and private sectors.

Two-year Development Period: The Illinois CURE Act further provides for an initial two-year development period (Development Period) beginning Jan. 1, 2024, and ending no later than Dec. 31, 2025. The purpose of the Development Period is to structure and implement the provision of psilocybin services in Illinois. During the Development Period, the Advisory Board will submit findings and recommendations to the IDPH concerning the safety and efficacy of using psilocybin to treat mental health conditions. The IDPH will examine and review those findings and recommendations before publication and distribution to the general public.

Expungement: The bill also expunges records of specified offenses related to the possession of psilocybin, psilocin, and related paraphernalia.

Taxes: The bill imposes a 15% sales tax on the retail sale of psilocybin products which is collected at the point of sale by the service center.

Noncompliance: The Illinois CURE Act also allows the IDPH to discipline licensees for noncompliance with certain provisions and to prevent the diversion of psilocybin to an unlicensed person or entity.

Local Level: On the local level, the bill prohibits cities and counties from establishing their own psilocybin licensing system or imposing additional psilocybin taxes or fees. Cities and counties may adopt ordinances to impose reasonable regulations on the operation of licensed establishments and may refer an ordinance to voters to prohibit or allow the establishment of licensed psilocybin facilities in the city or county. In short, the bill provides cities and counties a mechanism to “opt-out” of allowing the provision of psilocybin services with their respective jurisdictions.

The legislation as described above is merely proposed and will likely undergo substantial modifications before potential passage into law. Please check back for further updates.

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