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Historic Ashland resort could host psychedelic retreats if approved by voters

Psychedelic mushrooms, pictured in this 2021 file photo.
Rommert Crepin
Oregon voters approved Measure 109 in November 2020, legalizing the use of psilocybin in supervised facilities.

A company based out of the Netherlands wants to host psychedelic retreats from a historic resort southeast of Ashland. The choice will be up to Jackson County voters.

The Synthesis Institute bought the historic Buckhorn Springs Resort last year, in hopes of hosting therapeutic psilocybin retreats starting in 2023.

The therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms was approved by Oregon voters in 2020. But, on Tuesday, Jackson County commissioners voted to let local residents decide whether to allow psilocybin-related business take place in the county. The November vote will only apply to unincorporated parts of Jackson County, which includes the location of Buckhorn Springs.

Myles Katz, a co-founder of the Synthesis Institute, says he thinks there may be a stigma against laws allowing the use of psilocybin because of recent problems with illicit cannabis in Southern Oregon.

“We would just support and encourage people to really learn about Measure 109, how it is fundamentally different from the recreation laws for cannabis,” Katz says.

If Jackson County residents decide not to allow the therapeutic use of psilocybin, Buckhorn Springs will remain as an event-for-hire space.

Noah is a broadcast journalist and podcast producer who was born and raised in Salem, Oregon. He came to Jefferson Public Radio through the Charles Snowden Program of Excellence after graduating with a BS in journalism from the University of Oregon. In his spare time, Noah enjoys backpacking, scuba diving and writing music.