Colorado Psychedelics Regulators Warn Public About Edibles Sold Online | Westword
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Colorado Psychedelics Regulators Warn Public of Edibles Sold Online

The chocolates and gummies have mushroom pictures and terms like "microdosing," "great vibes" and "enhanced ingredients," but the FDA says they're full of synthetic drugs.
According to the FDA, people have experienced a range of "severe symptoms" after eating Diamond Shruumz-brand products, including seizures, central nervous system depression (or the loss of consciousness, confusion and sleepiness), agitation, abnormal heart rates, hyper/hypotension, nausea and vomiting.
According to the FDA, people have experienced a range of "severe symptoms" after eating Diamond Shruumz-brand products, including seizures, central nervous system depression (or the loss of consciousness, confusion and sleepiness), agitation, abnormal heart rates, hyper/hypotension, nausea and vomiting. United States Food and Drug Administration
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As Colorado's natural medicine program nears a rollout, edibles made with magic mushrooms at approved facilitation sights are a very real possibility. Unlicensed chocolates and gummies claiming to be infused with psilocybin are already available online, however, and state regulators want people to avoid such products.

The state's newly formed Natural Medicine Division, an arm of the Department of Revenue created last year to oversee psilocybin businesses in Colorado, released a health risk warning on June 28, alerting the public about illnesses associated with a brand of edibles sold online called Diamond Shruumz, and noting that any products sold online
"should not be associated with Colorado’s regulated natural medicine program."

Diamond Shruumz made national headlines after federal health agencies issued warnings and recalls regarding illnesses and hospitalizations connected to its chocolates, gummies and cones. According to the FDA, people have experienced a range of "severe symptoms" after eating Diamond Shruumz-brand products, including seizures, central nervous system depression (or the loss of consciousness, confusion and sleepiness), agitation, abnormal heart rates, hyper/hypotension, nausea and vomiting.

Prophet Premium Blends, the company that owns Diamond Shruumz, has voluntarily recalled the products and ceased production, according to a statement on its website.

Terms such as "microdosing," "great vibes" and "enhanced ingredients" appear alongside mushroom logos on the front of Diamond Shruumz products that were sold online. Although the FDA's test results show that Diamond Shruumz edibles contained synthetic drugs, semi-synthetic versions of DMT and natural sedatives such as kavain, the products were not found to contain psilocybin or psilocin, the psychedelic components of magic mushrooms.

"Advertising for these products has also implied that consumption would lead to feelings of euphoria, hallucinations, or psychedelic effects," reads a June 12 announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Common terms used in marketing include 'microdosing,' 'adaptogens' (substances to help the body adapt to stress), 'nootropics' (substances that enhance memory or cognitive function), or 'functional mushrooms.'"

Although Diamond Shruumz is based in California, its products can be purchased nationally, Colorado's natural medicine regulators point out. The FDA is investigating 48 reports of illness and 27 hospitalizations connected to Diamond Shroomz, including one "potentially associated" death. One of those cases occurred in Colorado, according to the FDA.

"Despite where the company is located, the FDA notice informs that the products subject to the notice are distributed nationwide and may appeal to youth," reads a statement from the Natural Medicine Division. "If the Division identifies evidence of public health or safety risks that relate to products that might be mistaken for or associated with regulated marijuana or natural medicine products in Colorado or may otherwise impact Colorado citizens or visitors, we are prepared to coordinate with agency partners (e.g. Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment) as necessary to verify any such risks and help notify the public."


Psychedelics in Colorado

In 2022, Colorado voters decriminalized psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline (that is not from peyote) in a statewide initiative; the successful ballot proposal also legalized supervised medical psilocybin use, which has shown potential in treating mental illnesses such as addiction, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Natural Medicine Division was created last year by the Colorado Legislature to regulate medical psilocybin producers and facilitators. Since then, the division, staffed largely by state marijuana officials, has hosted dozens of hours of discussions on future rules in the state's small-but-attention-grabbing psychedelics industry. Although gummies, chocolates and teas infused with psilocybin have been part of those discussions and will likely be available at licensed facilitation spaces, the Natural Medicine Division doesn't want Coloradans or bold entrepreneurs thinking online psilocybin sales are legal here.

"The commercial sale of natural medicine (including psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, DMT, and ibogaine) is strictly prohibited under Colorado law. Synthetic natural medicine (e.g. 4- AcO-DMT) remains illegal under Colorado law," the June 28 announcement reads, adding that the Natural Medicine Division is "closely coordinating with the CDPHE and other state agencies to monitor this matter as it progresses and is prepared to take action pursuant to our authority under the Natural Medicine Code as necessary to support collective measures to protect public health, safety and awareness."

According to Natural Medicine communications manager Heather Draper, the state has connected with the FDA to help  track impacts in Colorado and assess the need for more action as the FDA's investigation into Diamond Shruumz continues.

Diamond Shruumz isn't the only unlicensed activity connected to the ’shroom boom. According to Draper, the Natural Medicine Division is "monitoring and investigating reports of unlicensed activity" in Colorado, and some of those investigations have led to cease-and-desist notifications.

"For example, the Division has issued cease-and-desist notifications when investigations have revealed evidence that parties are engaging in the commercial advertisement and commercial sale of natural medicine products, which is expressly prohibited by Colorado law, both as it relates to the personal use and sharing of natural medicine and the regulated natural medicine program," she explains.

Licensing and training rules for psilocybin facilitators in Colorado were adopted in June, but the Natural Medicine Division is still ironing out details regarding commercial requirements. Drafts of proposed rules were released through the spring, with the final rulemaking hearing for public input scheduled for Thursday, July 25. According to the 2023 law that created the division, its rules must be adopted by August 11 and implemented by October 1 of this year.
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