Psilocybin mushrooms, like medical marijuana, show promise in medicine. There’s evidence they could treat depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug addiction, and PTSD, though more research needs to be done.
Now, a former medical marijuana dispensary owner in Canada is offering microdosed mushroom capsules by mail – but only for those with documented medical conditions that could be treated with psilocybin.
As reported by Manisha Krishnan at VICE, cannabis activist and entrepreneur Dana Larsen is selling the capsules through his new website, The Mushroom Dispensary. The Vancouver-based website says a physical 'shroom dispensary location is coming soon, but no opening date has been announced.
According to Krishnan, Larsen “doesn’t expect his customers to incur any risks, legally or in terms of consuming the mushrooms.” Psilocybin mushrooms are currently outlawed in Canada, but Larsen believes following the old gray-market weed-dispensary model should prove successful for dispensing medicinal mushrooms, too.
Related: Photos of Psilocybin Magic and Psychedelic Delights via @TheMushroomBible
“I think the model that we used, and the tactics we used to legalize cannabis… civil disobedience, medical dispensaries, shifting the focus on the substance away from sort of seeing it as a hedonistic party substance more to being seen as a therapeutic, beneficial medicine,” he said. “The worst-case scenario is [the mushrooms] don’t help.”
Although magic mushrooms may work wonders for certain patients with specific medical conditions, there is no medical consensus regarding their efficacy. Additionally, federal regulators in Canada and the US do not recognize psilocybin (or its cousin, psilocin) as an accepted medical treatment for any condition – yet.
For patients who qualify, the Mushroom Dispensary’s capsules come in three doses: 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg of ground up mushrooms. The capsules are derived from the Golden Teacher strain.
“A typical dose of psilocybe mushrooms for psychedelic purposes would be between 1000mg and 3000mg of dried mushroom. A microdose is much smaller, between 1% and 10% of an active dose, typically in the range of 25mg to 100mg,” the website reads. “Our goal is to provide therapeutic benefits without any noticeable psychoactive effects.”
In other words, don’t expect to trip balls, especially with 25mg capsules going for C$2.50 a pop. The 100mg capsules run C$8 per pill. For the hardcore shroomers in the audience, you can probably spot the price difference: Larsen’s price is nearly 10 times greater than scoring whole ‘shrooms from an illicit street dealer.
Even though psilocybin, or magic mushrooms are illegal in the Great White North, Vancouver police didn’t clarify whether his mushroom mailing service would raise their judicial concerns. It seems like Canadian cops are far more worried about the painkiller epidemic than they are about psilocybin, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Larsen is off the hook, legally speaking.
“We continue to focus our enforcement energy towards combating organized and sophisticated criminals who profit from the production and distribution of harmful drugs, such and fentanyl and other opioids,” wrote Vancouver police spokesperson Steve Addison in a statement to VICE.
In order to qualify for Larsen’s mail-order shrooms, prospective patients must first provide documented proof – from a licensed doctor or other medical professional – that they have a diagnosis that can be treated with psilocybin.
Furthermore, there are other websites selling magic mushrooms online besides The Mushroom Dispensary, which don't require medical documentation. And tech-savvy shroomheads have been buying caps off the darknet with cryptocurrencies for years.
In the US, Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California recently decriminalized possession and cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms (and in Oakland, they decriminalized pretty much all psychedelic plant medicine). In both cities, however, sales remain banned. But seeing as magic mushroom sales are banned in Canada as well, does that mean the Mushroom Dispensary is willing to ship internationally to the Mile High and Bump Cities?
"This is for Canada only," Larsen wrote to MERRY JANE in an email. "Unfortunately, we can't send overseas or to the USA."
Well, that answers that. And it's a smart policy, since mailing magic mushrooms across national boundaries may catch someone federal charges in both the US and in Canada. Maybe.
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