On Nov. 3, police raided three Vancouver magic mushroom dispensaries and seized tens of thousands of dollars worth of psilocybin and other psychedelics.
One store has already re-opened, with the owner saying the other two will reopen soon.
Psychedelics remain predominantly illegal in Canada. But storefronts advertising psychedelics are popping up throughout downtown Toronto and Vancouver. And there are hundreds more Canadian options online.
Mushroom dispensary owner Dana Larsen criticizes Vancouver police for raiding his dispensary and two others. Mushrooming trade
As Canada lags on approving therapeutic psilocybin products, the illicit market is flourishing. Operating in a legal grey area, Canadian stores and websites are increasingly selling psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine and more. To date, the government has largely turned a blind eye to these stores.
The Vancouver police had previously expressed that their primary concern is gang-related opioid trafficking, but this appears to be changing, and police have indicated more raids will come.
We have seen this story before: repeated raids on cannabis dispensaries failed to dissuade owners while using up vast police resources.
Yet simply ignoring the growing psychedelics storefronts allows stores to prioritize commercial interests over public health: with no regulations,