Illinois CURE Act
Table of Contents
Frequently Asked Questions
Find Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Illinois CURE Act
What is psychedelic therapy?
Psychedelic therapy is a therapy that uses a class of chemicals whose primary effect is to trigger non-ordinary states of consciousness, to treat depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health challenges. These compounds range from chemicals like ketamine and MDMA, to natural plants and fungi such as psilocybin cubensis, ibogaine, and San Pedro.
Outside of clinical studies, psychedelic therapy is not currently available— but that may be quickly changing. Pioneering research by institutions like MAPS, Johns Hopkins, and UCLA has shown that psychedelic therapy, when done by trained professionals, can help people break through a variety of mental health conditions.
Why do we need a services act?
The IL CURE Act would decriminalize the personal possession of psilocybin and psilocin and also create a new program that would allow people to get access to psychedelic therapy to treat depression, anxiety, and addiction without a specific diagnosis — potentially helping thousands.
How does psychedelic therapy work?
Psychedelic works differently than pharmaceuticals, which need to be taken daily and often come with an array of adverse side effects. Preliminary research shows that psychedelic therapy can be effective and has an excellent safety track record. In a small number of administration sessions with a trained facilitator, patients have found lasting relief from various forms of depression and anxiety.
Patient outcomes have been so promising that in 2019, the FDA granted psilocybin therapy a “breakthrough therapy” designation. This is done when research demonstrates a new treatment method is more effective than current standards of care.
What does research say about psilocybin therapy?
Pioneering rigorous studies at leading medical research institutions such as Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and NYU indicate that psilocybin therapy shows real promise. It appears to be uniquely effective in treating depression, end-of-life anxiety, and addiction. A recent study from NYU showed that psilocybin therapy significantly reduced depression and anxiety symptoms in 80 percent of the cancer patient participants, with few side effects. More studies have followed and medical psilocybin appears to be on track to get FDA approval in the coming years.
How does the IL CURE Act help?
Currently, Illinoisans cannot access psilocybin therapy — The IL CURE Act changes that by asking the Illinois Department of Public Health to create a licensing system that will create a regulated program where Illinoisans suffering from depression, anxiety, and other challenges can see a trained facilitator to receive supervised psilocybin therapy.
What does the IL CURE Act do?
The Illinois CURE Act decriminalizes the possession, use, cultivation, production, creation, analysis, giving away, and delivery of natural plants and fungi; defined as psilocybin, psilocin, ibogaine, mescaline (except from peyote), and dimethlyltryptamine and creates a license and regulatory framework for the closed loop production of psilocybin and facilitation of psilocybin services and retail for adults 18 years of age and older.
What doesn’t the IL CURE Act do?
The Illinois CURE Act does not allow for export or import of psilocybin, and it does not allow licensees to interact with unregulated markets.
Why do we need to decriminalize psychedelics at the same time as creating framework for services?
The research and anecdotal data showing the incredible efficacy of psychedelics is a beacon of hope for so many. Medical access with psychedelics, as well as decriminalization to protect personal choice, communal use, and community-based healing outside of a medical framework are both crucial pieces of the puzzle in making sure people have the safety and support they need to navigate their own relationship with psychedelics, and so there must be solidarity between the psychedelic movement and the larger movement to end the drug war.
Illinois Entheogen Advisory Board
The Illinois Entheogen Advisory Board:
• Studies the implementation of the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act
• Advises Illinois Department of Public Health on available scientific studies and research on the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating mental health conditions and makes recommendations on the requirement, specifications, and guidelines for providing psilocybin services in Illinois.
• Develops a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that psilocybin services will remain a safe, accessible, and affordable option for persons 21 years of age and older
• Makes recommendations to the department regarding what other substances, such as ibogaine, mescaline (except from Peyote), and bonatical forms of dimethyltryptamine, may be included in this regulatory framework.
• Monitors and studies federal laws, regulations, and policies regarding psilocybin
• Greater than 50% ownership group are Illinois residents
• An individual may not hold an interest in multiple manufacturers
• Must demonstrate that property owner has consented to production of psilocybin
• Cannot cultivate outdoors
• Premise must have defined boundaries
• Cannot exceed production quantities established in rule
Testing Lab License
• All psilocybin products must be tested by a licensed laboratory prior to transfer to Service Center
• Laboratories must be accredited by the Illinois Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program
• Testing results must be entered in the product tracking system
• Must complete IDPH approved training program before applying for licensure
• Must have been an Illinois resident for two years (expires January 2027)
• Must pass exam approved or administered by IDPH
• Cannot transfer psilocybin products to clients
Service Center License
• Greater than 50% of ownership group are Illinois residents
• An individual may not hold an interest in more than five service centers
• Cannot be located within 1000 feet of a school
• Must have defined boundaries
• Provides psilocybin products to client for use during administration session
• Only license authorized to provide psilocybin products to clients
• Most employees will be required to hold a worker permit issued by IDPH
Local Government Issues
Local Government Time Place and Manner Regulations
• Local governments may adopt reasonable regulations on hours, location, and operation of licenses
• Local taxes and fees are prohibited
Land Use Compatibility Statements (LUCS)
• Applicants for Service Center and Manufacturer licenses are required to request a LUCS from their local government before submitting a license application
Product tracking system required to track manufacturing, packaging, delivery, and sale of psilocybin products to:
• Prevent diversion
• Prevent tampering
• Ensure accurate accounting
• Ensure accurate reporting of lab testing results
• Develop and maintain tracking system, or
• Contract with Illinois Medicinal Plants Bureau to use cannabis tracking system vendor
License and Application Fees, Taxes
License and Application Fees
• IDPH shall adopt rules designating application, license, and renewal fees for all license types
• Fees must be reasonably calculated not to exceed the cost of administration
• Illinois Psilocybin Services will be a fee-based program and fees must cover the costs associated with the agency’s work
• Service Centers collect a 15% tax on the sale of psilocybin products payable to Illinois Department of Revenue
• Tax revenues help fund administrative costs for Department of Revenue and Illinois Psilocybin Services and to develop and implement programs for education, harm reduction, and unarmed crisis prevention services.
Resources and Citations
Brief General Articles
USA Today: The next big trend in mental health treatments? Psychedelic Therapy.
Discover Magazine: Psychedelics Could Be the Future of Psychotherapy
Good Housekeeping: Are Psychedelics the Next Big Cure?
The New York Times: How Should We Do Drugs Now?
The Guardian: “Amazing Things Can Happen”
Michael Pollan on how to end the damaging war on drugs
Review of psilocybin studies by State of Oregon committee of public health experts
Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence
Ayahuasca-Assisted Therapy for Addiction
Treatment-Resistant Depression (severe and persistent depression)
Cancer-related psychiatric distress, more here
Ibogaine treatment outcomes for opioid dependence
Treatment of opioid use disorder with ibogaine
Psychedelics are associated with decreased risk of opioid abuse and dependence.
Cities that have decriminalized psychedelics
Research on risks/harm from psychedelics
Summary of research on risks/harms from entheogens and related substances
Journal of Psychopharmacology: Psychedelics not linked to mental health problems or suicidal behavior: A population study
Effects of psilocybin in healthy humans: a pooled analysis of experimental studies
Survey study of challenging experiences after ingesting psilocybin mushrooms: Acute and enduring positive and negative consequences
Human Hallucinogen Research: Guidelines for Safety
SAMHSA National Estimates Of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits (compiled by the US Govt) - download the Excel file for granular detail
Adverse reactions to psychedelic drugs. A review of the literature
Major Universities, Hospitals, and other Research Institutions doing research on psychedelic treatments
Johns Hopkins' Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research
Mass General Hospital Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics
NYU Center for Psychedelic Medicine
Mount Sinai Psychedelic Research Center
UW-Madison Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
California Institute of Integral Studies
Other scientific & research resources
Scientific articles on entheogen treatment research
As of July 14, 2021, there are over 65 active studies currently registered on ClinicalTrials.gov just for psilocybin
Psilocybin increases resting state functional connectivity across brain networks
Sustained, Multifaceted Improvements in Mental Well-Being Following Psychedelic Experiences in a Prospective Opportunity Sample