Psilocybin is the hallucinogen found in mushrooms that contain natural chemicals that cause people to see, hear or feel things that are not there. They have been used by humans for thousands of years for spiritual, medicinal and recreational purposes. Despite their popularity, there is still no legal way to grow, sell or possess these psychedelic mushrooms in Canada without a licence. However, a recent high court ruling and growing interest in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has shifted the conversation on the subject and paved the way for more legalization.
In 1974, organic mushrooms canada was banned under the Food and Drug Act, making possession of magic mushrooms illegal in Canada. But in 1979, a British Columbia Court of Appeal decision in R v. Parnell ruled that a person couldn’t be charged for possessing mushrooms containing psilocybin because the Food and Drug Act did not prohibit the chemical psilocybin, only its extraction. Hence, it is legal to have mushrooms containing psilocybin as long as they are left in their “natural state.”
From Forest to Table: The Journey of Organic Shrooms in Canada’s Culinary Scene
Since that time, countless health-care providers and private companies have sought exemptions from the federal government to use psychedelics in psychotherapy with patients suffering from conditions like depression and terminal illnesses. And a growing number of entrepreneurs have taken up the call for more legalization.
A for-profit startup called Wake is one of several Vancouver companies backed by private investment money to stake a claim in the mushroom cultivation industry and make it easier to access the powerful drugs. Founder Chip Wilson envisions a 200,000-square-foot facility in Princeton that he hopes will be the largest state-of-the-art psilocybin cultivation lab in the world.