Vancouver magic mushrooms— For the first time in years, mushroom pickers can go to work picking psychedelic fungus without fear of arrest. In a development reminiscent of Vancouver’s first unlicensed pot cafes, several mushroom shops have opened in the city this year. They are selling magic mushrooms and products derived from the hallucinogenic compound psilocybin, which the medical community is studying for its potential to treat mental health conditions and end-of-life distress.
The fungus — called psilocybe cubensis or “magic mushrooms” — contains a chemical that alters the way the brain functions, making people see, hear and feel things that are not there. The federal drug watchdog, Health Canada, warns that consuming the mushrooms can cause anxiety, sweating, muscle twitching and a faster heart rate. It can also lead to nausea, confusion, fear and anxiety and can trigger flashbacks from past experiences with drugs like LSD and mescaline.
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Kagan says the store in Osborne Village, which does not have a sign and is tucked into a strip mall, is only in its experimental phase. It sells only a small amount of mushrooms and will wait to see what the demand is before expanding into larger production. Customers need to show ID to buy the products and there are limits on how much they can purchase.
Larsen, who founded a community drug-testing service that offers a place to have drugs tested seven days a week, believes more legal options are the answer for people who want to avoid the stigma of using illegal substances. He wants to open more stores that can help people make smart decisions when purchasing and preparing for a trip with psilocybin.