Shroomies Canada Wants to Make Psychedelic Mushrooms Legal

On a sparse stretch of Vancouver’s East Hastings Street, a storefront emblazoned with psychedelic paintings and drug war propaganda posters stands out from the crowd. Inside, a barista serves coca leaf tea and CBD sandwiches to customers browsing a selection of legally dubious products: mushroom kits for microdoses or high doses of the hallucinogen psilocybin; peyote; kratom; and Bolivian cocaine (in pill form).

Is mushrooms good for brain?

The owner, Dan Kagan, is trying to make Shroomies Canada – one of many legal outlets selling fungus that have become increasingly popular for their therapeutic properties. “Mushrooms have been proven to help with depression, anxiety and addiction,” he says. “We just need to have a legal system that allows people access.”

Like LSD, ketamine and other psychoactive substances, magic mushrooms are illegal in Canada. But they can be bought online and at certain brick-and-mortar stores, if Health Canada grants them a ministerial exemption. The drug’s psychoactive effects can cause people to see, hear and feel things that aren’t there and may induce anxiety, fear, nausea and muscle twitching.

Last year, a Health Canada official granted an exemption to a psychiatrist who uses psilocybin to treat his cancer patients’ end-of-life anxieties. Therapist Bruce Tobin is now fighting to get his own application approved. He’s arguing that granting an exemption to psilocybin for his purposes would be in keeping with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to life, liberty and security of person. If he’s unsuccessful, he plans to take his fight all the way to the Supreme Court.