CBC’s Josh Crabb explores one of many illegal mushroom shops that have opened across the country challenging the current status quo. The shops are attracting customers ranging from people with depression to those who want to try the hallucinogenic drug for spiritual purposes.
Although magic mushrooms are not legal in Canada, they aren’t considered as serious of a threat to users’ health as marijuana or cocaine. Health Canada says psilocybin has not been shown to cause addiction. In fact, it has been shown to help with some mental health issues including anxiety and depression. A study led by a Toronto psychologist is currently investigating the potential for psilocybin to alleviate depression without the psychoedelic side effects. This link organicshroomcanada.co
The southwestern Ontario city of Kitchener is home to several illegal mushroom stores. Some, like FunGuyz, have had a few police raids but co-owner Edgars Gorbans said the shop is constantly open and staffed. “The way we see it, we’re operating a medical protest,” he said.
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The store’s customers include university students who come in looking for a high and those seeking psilocybin’s therapeutic properties. It has also been used in some studies to treat cancer patients and to alleviate anxiety. Gorbans said the company’s website offers plenty of information about how to use the products and cautions that the mushrooms can be dangerous if they are not taken responsibly.
While the city’s licensing division has not shut down the store, it does not have the power to enforce the law because fungi are not a regulated substance. Larsen, who also operates a store in Ottawa, has been fighting the city for years over his business licences, and is assisting terminally ill people with a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge to Health Canada’s program on psilocybin access.