Senate Committee Passes Senator Wiener’s Bipartisan Bill to Allow Regulated Use of Psychedelics

April 15, 2024

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee passed Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) bipartisan Senate Bill 1012, which allows adults 21 and older to use certain psychedelic substances in a regulated context, and under the supervision of a licensed and trained facilitator. The bill does not allow the sale, personal possession, or use of psychedelics outside of a supervised context. Senator Wiener’s legislative partner is Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido).

The bill passed 7-4 and heads next to the Senate Public Safety Committee.

“Psychedelics, when used safely, can turn people’s lives around, and we owe it to Californians to make these substances accessible in a safe and secure context, under the supervision of a licensed professional,” said Senator Wiener. “I thank the Business and Professions Committee for recognizing that need today.”

When administered with professional support, psychedelics have been shown to offer powerful relief to people struggling with mental health and addiction disorders. SB 1012 takes an evidence-based approach to providing access to these promising treatments. The bill covers psilocybin/psilocyn (mushrooms), Dimethyltryptamine (“DMT,” the active ingredient in ayahuasca), MDMA, and mescaline (other than peyote). It establishes a professional licensing board to train facilitators, develop guidelines, and regulate the safe and responsible superviseduse of psychedelics. 

Last fall, the Legislature passed SB 58 — authored by Senator Wiener and supported by Assemblymember Waldron — which would have decriminalized the personal use and possession of certain psychedelic substances. In a message explaining his decision to veto the bill, Governor Newsom urged the Legislature to send him a bill establishing therapeutic guidelines for the use of psychedelics in California. As the Governor stated in his veto message:

“Both peer-reviewed science and powerful personal anecdotes lead me to support new opportunities to address mental health through psychedelic medicines like those addressed in this bill. Psychedelics have proven to relieve people suffering from certain conditions such as depression, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and other addictive personality traits. This is an exciting frontier and California will be on the front-end of leading it. . . . I urge the legislature to send me legislation next year that includes therapeutic guidelines.”

SB 1012 is a direct response to the Governor’s request.

The bill creates the Board of Psychedelic Facilitators under the Department of Consumer Affairs, which will license and regulate professional facilitators who are trained in psychedelic-assisted therapy. Once licensed, these facilitators will provide supervised access  for persons 21+ to certain regulated psychedelic substances (psilocybin/psilocyn, DMT, mescaline (excluding peyote), and MDMA produced and tested by licensed entities. The use of these substances will be permitted only under the supervision of the licensed and trained facilitator. 

In the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, Senator Wiener agreed to amend the bill to require that facilitators possess an existing professional health license, such as psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, drug & alcohol counselors, and nurse practitioners.

SB 1012 is sponsored by the Heroic Hearts Project, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), and Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS). 

Assemblymembers Marie Waldron (R-Valley Center) and Josh Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) are principal co-authors of SB 1012. Assemblymembers Isaac Bryan (D-Los Angeles), Matt Haney (D-San Francisco), Corey Jackson (D-Moreno Valley), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Alex Lee (D-Milpitas), and Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City), Speaker Emeritus Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), and Senators Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park), Steve Bradford (D-Gardena), Bill Dodd (D-Napa), and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) are co-authors.