Hundreds Flock to Oregon’s Legal Psilocybin mushroom, Most of Them Out of State
When psilocybin (commonly referred to as psychedelic mushrooms or “magic mushrooms”) became legal and plans for a licensed psilocybin center in Eugene was announced, we all knew where this was going to go.
We’ve seen this before when marijuana was legalized in Colorado. Sure enough, as soon as one was opened in June, it was an instant hit. Hundreds have flocked to licensed centers to try the many types of magic mushrooms in a controlled environment and with a controlled dosage. However, you might (or might not) be surprised to hear that a good chunk of these hundreds of people are from out of state. In fact, Oregonians make up the minority of visitors.
Now, we can’t quite give you the numbers or anything. The data about the centers’ clients are protected by confidentiality laws, after all. However, those who work in these centers have been open with news outlets about their customer base. People are coming to Oregon in droves to try psychedelic mushrooms in a controlled setting. Some sellers are even saying that the out-of-state buyers are roughly 95% of their customer base. It also doesn’t help that some of these psilocybin centers are only a short drive from the airport, making them easily accessible to anyone staying in the state for a few days.
You might see that hundreds of people have come to try psilocybin and think to yourself “huh, I would have thought there would be more”. Well, you would be right. Many centers have waitlists with prospective buyers ranging into the thousands. After all, many documentaries and publications covered the legalization of magic mushrooms in Oregon and the emerging industry.
Now, most of these people are not just random men and women who want to try it out but don’t want to buy it off the street, though those people do exist. Many of these people are coming with chronic mental illness that they’re hoping they might find some reprieve from in the form of psilocybin. See, psilocybin is a psychoactive compound that can be produced by over 200 different species of mushroom. While it’s normally associated with recreational usage, it also has been proven to help with a number of mental disorders. Breakthroughs have been seen in people with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. This compound has been studied to the ends of the earth and back, so we know that there are legitimate uses.
However, you can’t discount the “psychedelic tourist” who just wants to try some psilocybin legally. Especially those who have quite a bit of money and don’t mind spending it for a flight and a few psychedelic trips. You might find that assumption to be a bit pointed, but it’s with merit, as getting psilocybin legally isn’t a cheap affair. Since it’s such a new business, you’re going to be hard pressed to find an insurance to cover it. Out-of-pocket, you can expect a one hour trip to be up to $3,000. While we’re on the subject of price, though, we should talk about it in relation to psylocybin’s genuine usefulness.
You can find no shortage of testimonies from both consumers and staff. There are those struggling with their disorders “accessing part of their psyche that they were never able to before”, says one facilitator, Susanne Ulvi, who was a social worker with Child Protective Services. While she does get the occasional tourist here and there, most people come with genuine issues that they would like to try psilocybin for. She has been a facilitator conducting sessions for dozens of people, and out of all of them, only two of them were from Oregon.
That highlights a couple issues. There are genuinely people who would benefit from access to this compound, and it’s safe to say that these people are all over the United States. However, because even just a one hour session can cost up to $3,000, it can’t be easily accessed; so much so that the people of the only state who has these psilocybin centers take up only a tiny fraction of their consumer base.
“The money makes it inaccessible to a lot of people,” said Ulvi. “For those that have the money, they’re going to fly in from wherever.”
The costs can be different from place to place. Some have a fixed upfront cost, while others have a sliding scale for veterans, people of color, and those in the LGBTQ+ community.
Things are destined to become cheaper in the future, as the business is growing rapidly. Since the first center opened up in June, the Oregon Health Authority has licensed 16 more service centers and has given permits to work with commercial psilocybin to around 550 people. That’s pretty rapid growth for such a new and developing industry.
Given that psilocybin is considered relatively safe in its controlled environment as it is quite a profitable industry, you can expect it to only grow further, and in my opinion, it won’t be long until other states start considering adopting the industry as well. Now, will we see insurance companies start to cover it? That remains to be seen, but I’d imagine it might take quite a bit of convincing, but many will testify that just trying psilocybin has been wonderful for their mental health ever since they first tried the compound.
Psilocybin Services inOregon
So, for those of us that haven’t tried psilocybin or are curious about trying it out, you may be asking: what’s it like? Well, as you might have guessed, it differs from person to person, as well as how high the dosage is.
I’m going to focus on the experiences of those who had come for the purpose of taking psilocybin for their mental health issues.
Many have described the experience as being rather eye-opening. Some have told of feelings of love and acceptance, while others have mentioned rather rough moments where they felt like they were dying or being pushed over the mental edge. Something many have experienced, though, is this sudden breakthrough where they gain a higher understanding of themselves. There have been reports of coming to terms with the loss of a loved one, being able to heal from traumatic events, and having a boost in energy and mood in the months afterwards.
You have to remember that your reaction also depends on how high the dosage is. If you take a really high dose without any prior experience with psychedelic compounds, you may be in for a really rough time.
It seems that this experiment in legalizing something that has been so ostracized as psilocybin has been a relative success. Many thousands of people are looking forward to seeing how this industry grows.