Church of Ambrosia responds to Gov. Newsom’s veto of SB58

Oakland, Calif., October 12, 2023 — The Church of Ambrosia, the world’s largest psychedelic church, today offered a mixed response to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s veto of SB58, the bill that sought to decriminalize the use of certain psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, DMT, and mescaline.

Dave Hodges, founder of the Church, said the Senate measure would have been “a great step forward” as it would have enabled decriminalization to move ahead. But Hodges said the bill had major flaws, principally concerning the lack of provisions to ensure public safety and quality control.

“There’s a huge education component that needs to be done to address safety, and most importantly you need to make sure that the supply is safe. The version of SB 58 that was on Gavin’s desk would have left a major hole where the Psychedelics were coming from, forcing people into potentially dangerous situations.” said Hodges.

The Church, in partnership with the Oakland-based Hyphae Labs, has been an early and vigorous leader on safety issues. It announced in July that it had developed dosing guidelines and an advanced psilocybin dosage calculator.

“There are many people interested in mushrooms for many reasons and we want them all to use psilocybin safely,” Hodges said.

A growing number of studies are finding that substances such as Psilocybin in “magic” mushrooms are effective in treating a variety of mental health and medical conditions. Johns Hopkins University research, for example, has shown psilocybin useful in treating major depression.

Such substances have also been effective in conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, addiction, suicidality, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), chronic and acute pain (including those caused by cancer, phantom limb, headaches, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal disorders), inflammatory disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, migraines and more.

Hodges said with the veto of SB58, the church’s “Psychedelic Wellness & Healing Initiative” may be the only option on the horizon for safe and legal medical access to Psychedelics in California.

Hodges, one of the initiative’s main proponents, said the filing could be placed on a statewide ballot as early as 2024. 

If approved by voters, the initiative would become law and enable people to obtain all Psychedelics upon referral from a doctor for medical or therapeutic use – mirroring a path that in 1997 allowed doctors to recommend medical cannabis. 

The current version of the Psychedelic Wellness & Healing Initiative can be read here:


Loretta Kalb


Brenna Bolger