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DEA Must Consult FDA On Psilocybin Petition, 9th Circ.

A Seattle physician seeking to loosen restrictions on psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, has asked the Ninth Circuit for a new order requiring the Drug Enforcement Administration to refer his rescheduling petition to federal health authorities.

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Dr. Sunil Aggarwal's rehearing petition filed Monday comes nearly two months after a circuit panel remanded his request to change psilocybin's status back to the DEA and ordered the agency to clarify why it believes the drug should remain a Schedule I substance.

But Aggarwal and his clinic, the Advanced Integrative Medical Science Institute, said that the circuit court made an "error of law" by sending the matter back to the DEA without explicit instructions to consult the Food and Drug Administration for a scientific and medical evaluation, as required by the Controlled Substances Act.

"The petition was granted. That's a victory for the petitioner," Kathryn Tucker, an attorney for Aggarwal, told Law360 on Tuesday. "However, the court did not direct the agency to do as the statute requires and refer the matter to the FDA for a medical and scientific evaluation. That is what the law requires."


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