A store with lurid blue and pink magic mushrooms canada illustrations in a Montreal neighborhood is among the latest of several illegal psychedelic drug retailers popping up across Canada. Its spokesman says it’s part of a push to have magic mushrooms recognized as having therapeutic value, which would make them legal for medicinal use. But experts say that’s a far-fetched goal for now.
The mushroom store in Osborne Village is run by a man named Larsen, who says he’s not worried about getting caught. He’s not new to pushing boundaries; he’s also run illegal weed dispensaries and embarked on a campaign where he gave out five million cannabis seeds and mailed them to Liberal politicians.
Psychedelic Exploration: The Legality and Benefits of Magic Mushrooms in Canada
But the cultivation of psilocybin, the compound that gives mushrooms their mind-altering effects, is still illegal in Canada. That’s because magic mushrooms are considered a Schedule III controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). That means they’re illegal to grow, buy or sell without a license or special exemption from Health Canada.
Despite promising results from clinical trials of psilocybin as a treatment for anxiety and depression, it’s not clear whether the government will ever allow magic mushrooms to be cultivated and sold on a commercial scale. In the meantime, people who want to use mushrooms for health reasons must look to private clinics or find their sources. They can also try so-called microdosing, where they take low, non-hallucinogenic doses of psilocybin to boost their mood and wellbeing.