The Pendleton City Council plans to let voters make the decision on having psilocybin product manufacturers and service centers within the city limits.
In November 2020, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 109, known as the Oregon Psilocybin Service Act, which allows for the manufacture, delivery and administration of psilocybin at licensed facilities. Psilocybin is the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms. The Oregon Psilocybin Act also allowed the Oregon Health Authority two years to develop rules and regulations for psilocybin products and facilities and set a date for psilocybin-related licenses to begin Jan. 2, 2023.
In the November 2020 election, 64 percent of voters in Umatilla County voted against the Psilocybin Service Act.
Local governments now have three options regarding psilocybin: 1) do nothing and allow the Oregon Health Authority to regulate psilocybin sales starting in January 2023; 2) adopt a two-year ban on psilocybin to see how the industry progresses or 3) adopt a permanent ban on psilocybin. Both of the ban options require the governmental body to adopt a ban and then refer the issue to voters for the final decision.
On Aug. 2, the Pendleton City Council will have a public hearing and then vote on Ordinance 3990, declaring a permanent ban on psilocybin services in Pendleton, and referring the decision to the Pendleton voters. If voters approve the ban in the Nov. 8, 2022, election, the ordinance will take effect within the city 30 days after Election Day.
“I think it is important to note that if the City Council does nothing, psilocybin mushrooms will be sold in Pendleton,” City Manager Robb Corbett said. “The question before the council is do they want to refer it to the voters or not.”
Umatilla County, Morrow County and the city of Hermiston all have recently voted to put that decision before voters in the November election.