Magic mushroom dispensariesand shopfronts are popping up to sell mushrooms and other products like gummies and teas that contain the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin. Although magic mushrooms (psilocybin and psilocin) are legal in pill form, they are still illegal to produce, sell or own without a health-care professional’s prescription. Yet in the capital of Ottawa, two stores have opened this year – The Golden Teacher at Rideau and Dalhousie streets and Shroomyz on Preston Street – and similar shops in Toronto, Hamilton and Vancouver have also cropped up.

Despite their illegal status, the owners of these “mushroom shops” don’t appear to be worried about police shutting them down. Jordan Armstrong, who owns the Golden Teacher, says he started the store about a 10-minute walk from Parliament Hill in December 2021 because of a “direct reaction to the lack of enforcement” against cannabis shops opening up around him in Vancouver. He estimates about 20 customers stroll through the shop on weekdays and says business is booming on weekends.

A Guide to Legal Magic Mushroom Dispensaries in Ottawa

But he also admits that “there are certain rules that you have to follow, that you can’t break.” He says his shop has a very clear set of guidelines for what customers can buy and how they can use it.

But the police service says it is receiving frequent inquiries about mushroom dispensaries, and it is taking a “measured proactive education, deterrence and enforcement approach” to deal with them. It warns people to stay away from the stores and that anyone caught in possession of illegal drugs risks prosecution.