Although magic mushrooms are now available for customers to buy at unlicensed retail outlets in Vancouver and Kelowna, don't expect a store to pop up in Prince George anytime soon.
Prince George RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Jennifer Cooper said magic mushrooms remain illegal and people possessing the drug could face charges.
“Prince George RCMP enforces the laws of Canada,” said Cooper. “Psilocybin is regulated as a controlled substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which prohibits the importation, exportation, trafficking, cultivation/production, and possession of it or its derivatives. We do not speculate or comment on possible or probable contraventions of the CDSA unless there is an urgent public safety concern that would cause the police to issue a warning.
“Furthermore, we do not speak to other detachment or municipal police department priorities or enforcement decisions.”
Until such a time that psilocybin becomes as legal product, there’s no chance city staff in Prince George would approve a business licence to a magic mushroom retailer.
“At present the City of Prince George does not permit this use; nor are we considering it,” said Deanna Wasnik, the city’s director of planning and development. “We may consider this type of use should provincial legislation be in place that indicates the retail sale of mushrooms is permitted.
“When cannabis sales became legal in B.C., we needed to write it into our zoning by-law to allow the retail. Implementation would also involve changes to the Liquor and Cannabis Policy (each for Council consideration and approval).”
Prince George pot store owner Cam Thun, who owns Cosmic Cannabis on Strathcona Avenue, said he knows people who have responded well to microdose treatments of psilocybin and he fully supports any move to legalize mushrooms for recreational use.
“I think they are evolving and I think that there is a need for them for certain people and any product we could sell legally through our store would help our business, so I believe that it is coming,” said Thun.
“I know that people who use them moderately, they find it helps them. When people want to get high on mushrooms they take a whole bunch, like one or two grams. People who are microdosing take 0.4 of a gram every day and they’re not using them to get stoned on, they’re using them to help with their mind. It does help a lot of people.”
Thun believes legalized mushrooms would help sustain local businesses that are struggling financially because the marijuana retail market has been flooded.
“If people are already wanting to access mushrooms, they’re getting them from the black market,” he said. “It’s not like not legalizing stops anything.”