Vancouver drug advocate launches online magic mushroom dispensary
People in Canada can now order and ship magic mushrooms right to their doorsteps, thanks to a Vancouver activist.
Long-time pot advocate Dana Larsen launched his latest venture, Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary, selling microdoses of psilocybin mushrooms.
"I think that just like cannabis, it is time to start to change the perception of psilocybin mushrooms," Larsen told CTV News.
The virtual store sells capsules containing 25mg, 50mg and 100mg of the drug.
Larsen knows his latest business is breaking the law, but said that is the point and he even has lawyers on standby.
"I think it needs to be done openly as a matter of civil disobedience to defy the law in an open way and hopefully that can make the law change, ultimately," he said.
Denver and Oakland have both recently decriminalized magic mushrooms.
Laren said he wants to help destigmatize the drug, adding microdoses provide a medicinal and therapeutic purpose for those suffering from various ailments.
He said it can also help treat stress associated with cancer, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses.
"The general feelings you will get is a reduction in anxiety, feelings of calmness and relaxation. It can help you sleep better. It can help you put your life, and maybe your problems, in a better perspective and it can alleviate a depression for people."
But the sale of the psychedelic drug is still very much against the law in Canada.
"Mushrooms that contain the chemical psilocybin are illegal under the Federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and the possession and trafficking of this drug is illegal," a spokesperson with the Ministry of Public Safety and the Solicitor General said in an email statement. "Police will continue to investigate and submit cases for charge approval for those who prey on vulnerable people by selling illegal drugs."
The Vancouver Police Department said it is aware of Larsen's online shop and is looking into it.
"Magic mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs are not typically an enforcement priority for the VPD, given the ongoing opioid epidemic, unless there are aggravating factors such as trafficking to children, or near schools and playgrounds," said Const. Steve Addison in an email.
Larsen plans on opening a brick-and-mortar shop in the next couple of months and has already started scouting for a spot.
But he knows there may be challenges with the City of Vancouver.
The city officials echo the sentiment from the province, saying the sale of psilocybe mushrooms are against the law.
"We do not have a licence category for this type of business," said Chief Licence Inspector Kathryn Holm. "(It) is prohibited under federal statute and enforcement would be determined by the federal government."
For now, Larsen is content cashing in the sales from his online store. Within five days of running it, he claims to already have 40 customers.