The psilocybin industry in Oregon has recently been regulated by the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division (“OHA” or “Authority”) under its new section, the Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS). OHA and is now accepting licensing applications for psilocybin businesses and services and one of the key requirements for potential psilocybin manufacturers, service centers, facilitators, and laboratories is to submit a social equity plan (“SEP” or “social equity plan”.) The Authority sees the social equity plan as crucial for ensuring that diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion principles are integrated into the psilocybin licensee’s internal practices and policies.
What is a Social Equity Plan (SEP)?
A social equity plan is a comprehensive document that outlines a psilocybin business’ commitment to promoting diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion in their internal practices and policies. The plan is also designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the licensee’s efforts in promoting social equity.
Requirements for a Social Equity Plan
According to Section 4020 of Chapter 333 of the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division, a social equity plan must include the following:
- A description of the licensee’s commitment to diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion principles.
- Objective performance measures that the licensee will use to evaluate their SEP.
Examples of Objective Performance Measures
Here are some examples of objective performance measures that could be included in a psilocybin license applicants SEP:
- Employee diversity: The proportion of employees from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, gender, and other diverse communities.
- Supplier diversity: The proportion of suppliers from diverse communities and the amount of spending directed towards these suppliers.
- Community engagement: The number of community events and initiatives that the company is involved in and the level of engagement with diverse communities.
- Diversity and inclusion training: The number of employees who have completed diversity and inclusion training, and the effectiveness of the training as evaluated through employee feedback.
- Recruitment practices: The number of job openings and the proportion of applicants from diverse communities.
- Representation in leadership positions: The proportion of leaders from diverse communities and the number of promotions to leadership positions from diverse communities.
- Employee satisfaction: The level of employee satisfaction as it relates to diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion initiatives, as evaluated through employee surveys.
- Community impact: The impact of the company’s operations on diverse communities and the measures taken to mitigate any negative impacts.
These are just a few examples of objective performance measures that could be included in a social equity plan. The specific measures will depend on the company’s goals and the initiatives they are undertaking to promote diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion.
SEP Renewal Requirements
In addition to the initial requirements, applicants for a renewal of their psilocybin manufacturer, service center, facilitator, or laboratory license must provide documentation of the evaluation of the implementation of their social equity plan based on the objective performance measures outlined in their initial SEP.
Documentation of Evaluation
The documentation of the evaluation of the implementation of a social equity plan would typically include a report or summary of the psilocybin licensee’s progress in meeting the objective performance measures outlined in their initial social equity plan. This report could include information such as:
- Data and metrics: A summary of the data collected and the metrics used to evaluate the company’s progress towards meeting their social equity goals. This could include information on employee diversity, supplier diversity, community engagement, training, recruitment practices, representation in leadership positions, employee satisfaction, and community impact.
- Analysis: An analysis of the data and metrics, highlighting areas of progress and areas where improvements can be made.
- Recommendations: Recommendations for further actions that the company can take to continue to improve their social equity practices.
- Supporting materials: Any supporting materials, such as employee feedback surveys or community impact assessments, that were used to evaluate the company’s progress.
The exact format and contents of the documentation will depend on the specific objectives and measures outlined in the initial SEP and the nature of the business. However, it should provide a clear and concise summary of the company’s progress towards meeting their social equity goals and demonstrate their ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion.
General SEP Guidance by Oregon Psilocybin Services
OPS, in its document, “Oregon Psilocybin Services – Social Equity Plan Resources” specifies that there is no size or page requirement for social equity plans and psilocybin license applicants are encouraged to keep SEPs clear and actionable.
Based on a review of SEPs in the cannabis sector and other social equity planning resources, OPS also shares possible components of a psilocybin license applicant’s social equity plan. A social equity plan might include:
- Statements of commitments
- Description of business practices, policies and programming
- Goals for measuring and achieving diversity in ownership, management, and employment
- Descriptions of any workforce training and investments in justice, equity, diversity and inclusion work
- Neighborhood characteristics of area where the applicant intends to operate and any plans of partnership with, or assistance to, community organizations or residents
- How the applicant will align to help advance equity and justice priorities already identified by the local community
- Descriptions of any outreach, mentoring, training, or professional development that will be offered to diverse groups
- How the applicant will support patients and other licensees who identify as members of priority populations, specifically:
- Black, Indigenous, people of color, and American Indian/Alaska Native people (BIPOC-AI/AN)
- People with low-income
- People with disabilities
- People living in rural areas of the state
- People who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+)
- Immigrants and refugees
- Acknowledgement of challenges and opportunities
- Descriptions of how applicant plans to meet social equity goals in daily operations
- Descriptions of how applicant plans to track and share progress
Please note that Oregon health authority in its guidance makes it clear that social equity plans are not required to include all of these components listed above. The list above just provides examples of what could be included. Applicants may also have other components of an SEP that are not listed here.
Changes to Psilocybin License Social Equity Plans
If there are any material changes made to the SEP, the licensee must provide written notice to the Authority within 60 days of making the change.
Social Equity Plan Requirements for Facilitator Licenses
Psilocybin facilitators who are employees of a licensed psilocybin service center can fulfill the social equity plan requirements by submitting a statement that references the service center’s social equity plan. However, if a facilitator contracts with a service center, they must submit their own social equity plan.
The SEP is an important requirement for participating in the psilocybin industry in Oregon, as it ensures that the industry is promoting diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion. The Authority views the requirements for the social equity plan, as well as the documentation and evaluation of the implementation, as crucial for ensuring that the industry is operating in a responsible and equitable manner.
As a potential psilocybin licensee, it is important to ensure that your social equity plan meets all the requirements set forth by the Oregon Health Authority. At Rogoway Law, we have a proven track record of assisting clients with complex regulatory compliance issues, including the drafting of comprehensive social equity plans for highly regulated industries like cannabis and psilocybin. Our team of experienced psychedelic law attorneys is here to help guide you through the process of successful licensure.
We offer a complimentary initial consultation to potential and current psilocybin licensees in Oregon. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!