EPIC Healing Eugene is the first physical space where people will be able to go get psilocybin treatment. The approval of the wellness center in Eugene is the final step in setting the program in motion.
“We want to congratulate Cathy Jonas of EPIC Healing Eugene on being the first licensed service center in the state,” said Angie Allbe, OPS section manager. “This is such a historic moment as psilocybin services will soon become available in Oregon, and we appreciate the strong commitment to client safety and access as service center doors prepare to open.”
“Today is a huge day for the state of Oregon and truly the entire country,” said Healing Advocacy Fund Executive Director Sam Chapman. “We expect service centers to be opening their doors pretty quickly after receiving their license. Down in Eugene — with EPIC Healing — it seems like they could be seeing clients in the next few weeks.”
The Healing Advocacy Fund is a nonprofit organization, working to implement, educate and support psychedelic therapy.
“While EPIC Healing in Eugene is the first service center to be licensed, we certainly do not expect it to be the last,” Chapman said. “By the end of this year, we expect to see as many as a dozen service centers licensed and serving clients, providing a new path for so many to address their depression, anxiety, and addiction.”
Friday’s announcement is more than two and a half years in the making. Voters passed Measure 109 in 2020, allowing for the regulated use of psilocybin. Psilocybin is the psychedelic compound found in what's commonly known as "magic mushrooms."
So far facilitators have received their licenses from the state, and manufacturers and testing labs have been approved, but until today no service center had been licensed through the OHA.
“Oregon really has the opportunity and frankly the responsibility of showing the rest of the country how this new tool can address our epidemic of mental health challenges,” Chapman said.
OPS has issued three manufacturer licenses, one laboratory license, five facilitator licenses, and 84 worker permits, according to OHA.
Epic Healing Eugene, a “boutique-style" healing center, will serve up to 30 people each month. Services will include individual and small group sessions.
“We are excited to be the first service center licensed in Oregon and to be able to open our doors for the many clients who will benefit from our transformational psychedelic-assisted therapy in a safe and nurturing space,” said founder Cathy Jonas in a statement.
Jonas is a licensed social worker and author. She’s shared the process of getting licensed on YouTube.
“There’s a lot of things going on here that make this very difficult. Also, finically, this is very difficult. It’s not a big money maker for small business owners at this point, but it’s also the right thing to do for those people who feel passionate about doing deep healing work with others,” Jonas said in a recent YouTube video.
How it works
Clients, 21 and older, can access psilocybin services. They won’t need prescriptions or referrals from a doctor, but they will have to do a preparation session with a licensed facilitator. If they meet the criteria, they can undergo psilocybin sessions alongside a trained and licensed facilitator.
Chapman and other advocates are ready to get the program running and eventually make it more accessible.
“We get to focus on the next task in front of us, which is ensuring that we can really make this program affordable and accessible long-term,” Chapman said.
Chapman sees this as a groundbreaking step forward in addressing the mental health crisis through a highly regulated process of implementing psilocybin therapy. And Oregon is at the forefront.
“I don't anticipate people who don't believe in the promise of suicide and to simply believe us, we're going to show them through this program, through continued research and really being able to put our money where our mouth is in terms of showing skeptics that psilocybin therapy is not only here to stay but has real promise for people who are struggling,” he said.