Psilocybin: Health Hazards

Home Office written question – answered on 20th January 2023.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 2168 on Psilocybin: Health Hazards, in the context of psilocybin being classified under Schedule 1 of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, for what reason substance 2-CB falls under Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, when it is controlled under Schedule 2 of the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

2C-B (4-Bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine), is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 as a Class A drug, and placed in Schedule 1 to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (“the 2001 Regulations”). Drugs are designated and placed in Schedule 1 to the 2001 Regulations if they have no recognised therapeutic use in the UK, as is currently the case for 2C-B.

There is an established process for the development of medicines, which enables medicines (including those containing Schedule 1 drugs such as 2C-B) to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), based on an assessment of their safety, quality and efficacy.

Should a company apply for a marketing authorisation (a product licence), it will ultimately be a decision for the MHRA whether to license a 2C-B-based medicine as a therapy. If a 2C-B-based medicine is made available following an assessment of its quality, safety and efficacy by the MHRA, the Home Office will seek and then consider advice provided by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) on its scheduling under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 as soon as possible. Such advice is a statutory requirement and will be considered before any decision is taken on scheduling under the 2001 Regulations.

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