Oregon Health Authority Awards Newest Therapeutic Psilocybin License

High Times
Tue, May 14

Kaya Holdings Inc., which became one of the first publicly traded companies to hold a cannabis license when it began operation in Portland, Oregon in 2014, recently announced that it has been approved to hold a license for therapeutic psilocybin.

The announcement came on May 7, stating that Kaya Holdings officially owns a Psilocybin Service Center license from the Oregon Health Authority. The business will be called The Sacred Mushroom™, which is set to be a “full-service psychedelic treatment center that will allow clients to receive Psilocybin Treatments in a setting offering significant experience differentiators and concept innovations.” It also boasted that the business will be up and running “within the next 30 days,” which would be sometime around the first week of June.

The Sacred Mushroom™ is located atop a building in downtown Portland and contains 11,000 square feet. The idea behind the layout is a spacious “room to roam” design, with “unsurpassed comfort, optional private rooms, activity zones with yoga, listening stations, journaling chairs and art expression, a special “sensation room,” a relaxing indoor garden and customized experience through our proprietary Synergy By Design™ ‘your setting, your way’ program.”

The press release cited data from Precedence Research, which stated that the U.S. behavioral health market was valued at $83 million in 2022, and projected a value increase to $136 billion by 2032.

Kaya Holdings Inc.’s OTCBQ market symbol is KAYS, and the company currently holds three cannabis licenses in total: one in Portland, Oregon, and two in Greece.

According to KAYS CEO Craig Frank, psilocybin is the next frontier in psychedelic medicines. “The introduction of legal psilocybin treatments in Oregon marks the beginning of perhaps the most disruptive force in the mental health sector, transforming treatment protocol and redirecting resources,” Frank said in a press release. “Our distinctive guest experience model, the environment offered by the size and design of the facility and the dedication of our staff are designed to make The Sacred Mushroom™ the premier choice for anyone turning to psychedelics for relief or transformation. For these reasons I believe KAYS is well positioned to become a leader in the ‘delivery of care’ of psychedelics.”

The state’s first psilocybin service center, EPIC Healing Eugene, opened in June 2024. “Our services focus on deep healing work, mindfulness, empowerment, spirituality, and transformation through psilocybin facilitation and integration,” EPIC Healing Eugene stated on its website. “We teach self-help strategies that support self-directed personal development and brain change. We help you prepare for a healing shift that will help you get the most out of your experiential journeys. Our skilled and supportive staff offer preparation sessions, followed by integration sessions to help you better recognize and incorporate the gems of insight from your psychedelic experiences into your daily life.”

Three months later, more than 3,000 people were on the waitlist despite high prices of entry, while many others praised their experiences.

The Sheri Eckert Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2021 by Sheri Eckert. She was the co-creator of Measure 109, which was passed by Oregon voters to establish legal psilocybin service centers, however she passed away in December 2020 before she could see the results of the law she helped to build. Through the Sheri Eckert Foundation, Eckert’s goal to “receive and allocate funds to individuals and organizations operating in Oregon’s legal and regulated psilocybin facilitation program” lives on.

In 2023, the Sheri Eckert Foundation gave out $300,000 to 76 scholarships for psilocybin facilitation students. Most recently as of early May, the foundation is aiming to raise $1 million to give out to those who need funds to legally use psilocybin in the state. So far, $176,218 has been collected from Proteus Fund, Full Potential Fund, and Dr. Bronners.

There are 20 psilocybin service centers currently operating in Oregon, according to Willamette Week. However, one called the Journey Service Center recently closed down due to lack of participants. Founders Jenna Kluwe and Clint Martin opened the center in September 2023 and service an estimated 100 customers. According to Willamette Week, the center was able to serve about 10 people per day, with each participant paying $2,000 per day.

“My eyes were bigger than my stomach,” said Martin, who invested around $1.2 million into the business.

Kluwe also told the news outlet about her feelings on the closure. “I’ve absolutely loved doing this,” said Kluwe. “The numbers just weren’t where they needed to be.”

Susanne Ulvi, a licensed psilocybin facilitator who previously worked at The Journey Service Center, said that other centers faced slowed business this past winter. “Nobody seems to be filling their rooms,” Ulvi explained.

While Oregon’s psilocybin service centers’ future success is uncertain, studies on the efficacy of psilocybin as a medical treatment continue to grow. Researchers have found that psilocybin use enhances meditation, isn’t associated with paranoia risk, weakens a person’s response to angry faces, and so much more. One study found that nine out of every 10 Americans believe that therapeutic psilocybin use for therapy and/or well being is “morally positive.”