Missouri House Approves Budget Bill To Research Psilocybin.

Missouri House Approves Budget Bill To Research Psilocybin.

Missouri’s House of Representatives gave final approval to a budget bill on Thursday that would spend $10 million from state opioid settlement funds to study the use of psilocybin to treat opioid use disorder. It’s part of a growing push by state governments to support more psychedelics research.

The bill for a short time would have instead put the $10 million toward grants to study ibogaine, another psychedelic, as a possible treatment for opioid use disorder. But earlier this week on the House floor, that provision was adjusted to fund psilocybin research instead.

Money for the program would come from state opioid settlement funds, the result of multiple lawsuits filed against the opioid industry and peripheral businesses.

Rep. Chad Perkins (R), who’d supported the ibogaine research plan, told Marijuana Moment he thought the initial proposal was a “worthy and prudent investment” but is nevertheless optimistic about the shift to study psilocybin.

“I had several concerned individuals reach out and provide me with information regarding the potential benefits of ibogaine,” he told Marijuana Moment in an email. “After some research, I believed it was a worthy and prudent investment for the state to combat opiate addiction.”


“I’m not disappointed,” he said of the substitution of psilocybin for ibogaine in the bill, HB 2010. “I believe that bringing more exposure to the benefits of psychedelics has been an ancillary effect of the pursuit of this budget item. This issue will hopefully raise the profile of psychedelics and provide a foundation on which we can base future policy decisions.”

Neither Perkins nor Rep. Cody Smith (R), the sponsor of the underlying budget bill who brought the psilocybin amendment on the floor,  responded to questions about whether the legislation might see further changes—including to reintroduce the ibogaine provision—once the Senate takes it up in the coming weeks.


Smith explained on the House floor this week why the ibogaine proposal was nixed, saying the change resulted from a conversation he had with the state Department of Mental Health last week.

“They had concerns about the ibogaine research they had read, and there are concerns about the dangers involved in that research,” Smith said. “However, they are interested in the psilocybin piece. And we’ve seen many other states use their opioid settlement funds to that end.”

The provision in its current form would take a one-time $10 million deduction from the state’s Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery Fund and use that money to award grants to research universities in to study psilocybin as a treatment for substance use disorder.

Advocates cheered the inclusion of the psychedelic research funding in the House-passed legislation.


Tim Jensen, president of the board of directors for the Grunt Style Foundation, a nonprofit that supports military veterans and their families, said the group commended Perkins and state lawmakers “for examining the path forward on psilocybin and ibogaine as a modality to address these issues.”

Eapen Thampy, a lobbyist and founder of the group Psychedelic Missouri, added that recent clinical research “has indicated psilocybin users may be able to significantly decrease their dependance on opiates.”

“An ongoing phase 1 trial at the University of Wisconsin is examining safety of psilocybin as an intervention for opiate use disorder,” he said in an email to Marijuana Moment, “but more research is needed on efficacy of this treatment. We hope to continue advancing Missouri’s interest in advancing these kind of treatments.”


In the coming decades, Missouri is set to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in opioid-related settlement funds. Psychedelic medicine proponents have been working to encourage states to use those millions to fund further research into ibogaine and other entheogens.

An earlier plan to use $42 million from Kentucky’s opioid settlement fund for ibogaine research, for instance, ultimately fell through late last year after the state’s new attorney general replaced then-Kentucky Opioid Commission Chairman Bryan Hubbard, who was spearheading the ibogaine initiative, with a former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official. Hubbard and others have since shifted attention to other states, including Missouri and Ohio.

A Stanford University study published earlier this year found that military combat veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) saw “dramatic” and “life-changing” improvements in their symptoms and cognitive functioning immediately after receiving treatment with ibogaine. In response to the increased demand for research, DEA has proposed a dramatic escalation in the production quota for ibogaine and other psychedelic compounds in 2024.

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