DORA issues licensing rules for Colorado psychedelic therapy facilitators


Shane Ersland


The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) issued rules on training and licensing for psychedelic therapy facilitators in the state.

Nearly 1.3 million Coloradans voted affirmatively for Proposition 122 in 2022, making Colorado the second state in the nation to approve a state-regulated program for legal access to psilocybin therapies. Oregon passed Measure 109 in 2020, which created a state-regulated therapeutic model for access to psilocybin. Colorado is slated to launch its psilocybin program in 2025.

DORA’s announcement is a key step toward implementation of the psilocybin program. State regulators and Colorado’s 15-member Natural Medicine Advisory Board have been working for months to create a regulatory structure for a safe and accessible psychedelic therapy program there.

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The rules will allow for dual licensure, creating a pathway for existing mental health practitioners or other licensed health providers to become facilitators and offer psychedelic therapy to their patients. Tasia Poinsatte, Colorado state director of the Healing Advocacy Fund, said the dual licensure will make the program more accessible in a statement. 

“At Healing Advocacy Fund, our number one goal is to create a regulated psychedelic therapy program that is both safe and accessible, and these newly released rules reflect those key priorities,” Poinsatte said. “Not only do these rules put high standards in place for safety and care, the inclusion of dual licensure will allow for a truly accessible program that is integrated into our mental healthcare system. We are thankful to the state regulators and advisory board members who worked thoughtfully and diligently to implement a program that will provide valuable opportunities for Coloradans to heal.” 

Healing Advocacy Fund recently partnered with Mental Health Colorado to host a series of webinars about the rollout of psilocybin services in the state. The webinars largely focused on factors that can help ensure patient and facilitator safety.

DORA’s rules for Colorado’s psychedelic therapy program include:

  • Two main license types will be available for facilitators: a Clinical Facilitator License for those with an existing physical or behavioral health practice, and a Facilitator License that allows those without a separate clinical license to become facilitators after completing a state-approved training program. These two license types ensure that those with existing medical and mental health practices can become facilitators, clearly define facilitators’ scope of practice based on their expertise and training, and increase accessibility of the program. 
  • Facilitator training program requirements include 150 hours of didactic training, 40 practicum hours, and 50 consultation hours across at least six months, which includes a competency evaluation
  • Accelerated training options for existing health providers or others with equivalent training and/or experience 
  • Additional license types to allow for a hands-on facilitation experience during training
  • A safety screen protocol for participants to identify possible risk factors and triage participants to the appropriate level of care

The use of psychedelic medicine can be highly effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions. The new rules will go into effect on June 30, when facilitator training programs can begin applying for DORA approval, and prospective facilitators can begin taking classes in preparation for facilitator license applications to open in January 2025.

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