First round of Oregon ‘magic mushroom’ facilitators graduate training

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 10:09 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Friday was a milestone for magic mushrooms as people completed a 6-month state-approved program that will allow graduates to apply for licenses to administer the mushrooms legally and in a controlled setting.

Two years ago, Oregonians passed measure 109, which allows psilocybin to be grown, manufactured and administered in licensed facilities.

Since then, advocates like Tom Eckert, the architect for the measure, have been busy.

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“We’ve been unfolding the regulations and the training and today is special,” Eckert explained, “because we’ve gone, and we’ve trained our first cohort of students who are now ready to step into this new world. This new profession.”

Scott Kloos, alongside more than 100 others, graduated from a 6-month long state-approved psilocybin service facilitator program. Needless to say, he’s excited.

“I am,” Kloos said. “This is great. We’ve spent six months learning about all the various facets of how we can provide this medicine for people in respectful and ethical ways.”

Graduates say this is far different from going and getting a prescription pill from a doctor. Instead, it’s being called an experience.

Eckert said magic mushrooms are capable of re-examining and reshaping the approach to mental health, because “we’re bringing something new to the table here. This is about you, and kind of unlocking where we’re blocked.”

With the training complete, people like Kloos can apply for licenses through the Oregon Health Authority. Licensed individuals will then help facilitate the best experience for those seeking the health benefits of magic mushrooms. Facilitators will present throughout the whole experience and at the ready to offer their services.

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“I have trust and faith in what this medicine will bring because,” Kloos said. “I’ve seen it help so many people including myself.”

“We’re in something of a crisis in terms of our mental health care,” Eckert said, “and we need new tools and new ways to approach that crisis, and this is a really interesting one.”

Eckert predicts Oregon could see licensed facilities in the next couple of months.

Kloos added each facilitator will be unique, and likely able to help people with different interests or fascinations get more in touch with themselves.