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2019: A year of expansion in psychedelic research, industry, and deregulation

A questionnaire asking 'could psychedelics transform mental health?


Jacob S Aday, Emily K Bloesch, Christopher C Davoli


November 25, 2020

Public and scientific interest into psychedelic drugs has grown steadily over much of the last two decades, before an exponential increase in recent years. We contend that 2019, in particular, involved myriad notable changes in the science, industry, and deregulation of psychedelic drugs. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for professionals to keep up-to-date on these advancements given the rapid growth of the field. Further, broad contemporary synopses are critical in maintaining records in the history of science. To address these concerns, this article synthesizes the significant number of scientific, business, and regulatory changes related to psychedelic drugs which occurred in 2019. Establishment of psychedelic research centers, novel applications of the drugs, and international expansion of the field in 2019 seemed to solidify psychedelic research’s place in science. Additionally, many in the business and pharmaceutical industries stimulated considerable investment and innovation in psychedelics for the first time. In the US, successful decriminalization efforts and endorsements by eminent political figures, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Andrew Yang, and the heads of the NIH and FDA, in 2019 were representative of unprecedented regulatory changes. Collectively, this article serves as a succinct summary of the changes psychedelic drugs made across various levels of society in 2019—by coalescing emerging research themes, industrial innovations, and attitude shifts.

This research was published in the Drug Science, Policy and Law Journal the definitive source of evidence-based information and comment for academics, scientists, policymakers, frontline workers and the general public on drugs and related issues

For open-access to the full report of this research, see below:

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