Can You Grow Psychedelic Mushrooms in Canada?

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Known informally as “magic mushrooms,” the psychoactive fungus that can cause a person to see, hear and feel things that are not real is growing in popularity as an alternative to traditional treatments for mental health issues. While researchers continue to investigate psilocybin for treating a host of conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias and alcoholism, more people are self-managing their mental health through a practice called microdosing. URL

While psychedelic dispensaries are proliferating in Canada and the drug is available online or in storefronts in some cities, it remains illegal to grow, purchase or consume magic mushrooms in most cases under Canadian law, which classifies it as a Schedule III substance. Possession and sale remain offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, but there are specific exemptions to this rule, such as Health Canada’s Section 56 exemption or Special Access Program.

The Legal Landscape: A Deep Dive into Magic Mushrooms in Canada

Merks, who suffered from cluster headaches and opioid use disorder and has terminal cancer, is one of a handful of Canadians challenging the federal government in court over their constitutional right to use psilocybin for medical purposes. But advocates, doctors and therapists tell VICE News that the pathways for legally accessing these drugs are opaque, cumbersome and riddled with delays.

In addition to a Section 56 exemption or Special Access Program approval, a person must have a dealer’s licence or producer’s licence if they want to cultivate psilocybin mushroom spores in Canada. Failure to take these precautions could result in a decade-long jail sentence under the CDSA, which also makes it illegal to transport and sell psilocybin mushrooms and their spores.

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