BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners heard overwhelming support for the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin at Wednesday's public hearing. Commissioner must decide soon whether to ask voters to place land use restrictions on psilocybin businesses in unincorporated areas, when Measure 109 takes effect in January.
A number of people from the medical community said they’ve seen first-hand how the drug helps patients battling depression, PTSD and other disorders. "In my 12 years of training to become a doctor, I personally have not seen any medicine with this potential," said one doctor. She went on to says she's been extensively involved in research, "The FDA has granted breakthrough therapy status to psilocybin, attesting to the promise of the early clinical research potential for treating these serious conditions."
Others expressed frustration with the prospect of another vote. M109 passed in Deschutes County with 53% support. "As a county resident, when I’m asked if I would like a service center to be my neighbor, I say yes," said one man, "Putting up obstacles and saying, ‘hey, I think we’re going to limit this, limit that,’ that’s - we’ve already decided this." Another told Commissioners opting out "sends a negative message."
They also heard from veterans and others who have used psilocybin to treat various disorders. And Ryan, owner of a Bend engineering firm, says he’s joining with other local businesses to create a psilocybin manufacturing facility and treatment center. "The manufacturing facility will be 500’ sf and that includes mushroom growing, processing, quality assurance and regulatory controls. This facility will use fewer resources than a single family home - negligible water, wastewater, energy and solid waste. No obnoxious smells, light or heavy traffic. If run at full capacity, this workshop could potentially generate enough psilocybin to meet the needs of all Deschutes County residents."
Commissioners are expected to decide next week whether to ask voters in November if there should be land use restrictions on these new businesses in unincorporated areas. They’ll take additional written comment through 8 a.m. Monday, via email: Board@Deschutes.org.