Is Oregon’s Magic Mushroom Experiment Doomed to Fail?

The hoped for success of Oregon’s trailblazing magic mushroom experiment could be teetering on failure. A year ago, the state became a world leader when it legalized the use of magic mushrooms (psilocybin) in a controlled environment.

But, one year down the line, the number of people experiencing psychedelic trips under supervision is woefully less than what was expected.

See also: Psychedelic Magic Mushrooms, Aka Psilocybin, Provide Treatment In 27 Oregon Service Centers


Psilocybin Entrepreneurs Call for Improved Legislation

About 100 psilocybin entrepreneurs recently attended an industry conference in Portland and agreed that word must be spread on the benefits of magic mushrooms. Existing regulations regarding advertising is restrictive. Attendees shared experiences of diminished interest in magic mushroom trips under supervision and pledged to lobby lawmakers to improve existing regulations.

Hosted by the Psilocybin Assisted Therapy Association, the conference was organized by the nonprofit to raise awareness of the spiritual and health benefits of the psychedelic drug.

Ninety-nine per cent of people are unaware of the benefits to be reaped from a supervised magic mushroom journey says Heidi Venture of Hood River mushroom center. Since the launch of the program a year ago, only 3,500 people have paid for a supervised trip at one of 25 psilocybin centers in the state. The Healing Advocacy Fund predicts that this number will double by the end of the year, but it nevertheless is far fewer customers than originally anticipated.

The Healing Advocacy Fund is a nonprofit that advocates magic mushroom policy and supports entrepreneurs.

See also: The Types Of Magic Mushrooms Within Oregon And How To Get Them


Portland Mushroom Center Closed Due to Lack of Support

Although Oregon has 25 licensed mushroom centers, one has already folded due to lack of interest and support. The Journey in Portland closed its doors in March, and more are expected to follow, according to Tori Armbrust, owner of Satori Farms PDX, growers and distributors to Oregon mushroom service centers.

She believes that the market, already under challenge, will become over-saturated next year when out-of-state business interests can legally launch psilocybin centers in Oregon.

See also: Hundreds Flock To Oregon’s Legal Psilocybin Mushroom, Most Of Them Out Of State

Adding further strain to the current tenuous business scenario has been a recent increase in training programs for would-be facilitators – the phrase used for those responsible for supervising a magic mushroom trip.

About 325 facilitators have been licensed in Oregon over the last year, but many have experienced limited opportunities of finding gainful employment. It has now become common among more experienced facilitators to find private clients and work illegally from homes supervising magic mushroom trips.

An Oregon Health Authority policy analyst, Jesse Sweet, says the agency does not have the authority to limit people seeking training as facilitators, a call that has been made by existing industry players. But he points out that the agency will be introducing a new set of rules that will require magic mushroom centers to collect data on their customers. Public input will be invited later this year.

Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to the industry is the exorbitant cost of a magic mushroom trip. Prices start at $800, rising to an eye-watering $2,500 for a trip and two therapeutic sessions with a facilitator. When first launched, most of the customers attracted to the psilocybin program were the well-heeled, out-of-towners, and tourists, but advocates say discounts are to be found.

Meanwhile, activists from other states are keeping a close watch on the Oregon experiment. Colorado has decriminalized the sharing and use of psilocybin and other psychedelics and will soon license its own mushroom centers and facilitators.



Measure 109, approved by a majority of Oregon voters in 2020, directed the state Health Authority to legalize a psilocybin program which, unlike marijuana, operates under the watchful eye of supervisors at magic mushroom centers.

In June 2023, Eugene became the first Oregon city to offer legal access to a controlled substance.

By federal standards, psilocybin remains illegal as a Schedule 1 substance with a high potential for abuse.

Related: Ashland Psilocybin Center Seeks Sponsors For Treating PTSD In Veterans Using “Magic Mushrooms”

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