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Magic mushrooms have been utilized for millennia, with a diverse array of over 200 species existing. Due to their similar appearances, distinguishing between different types of magic mushrooms can be challenging, and there is a risk of mistakenly consuming poisonous mushrooms instead.

Overview of Drug Laws in Canada

The Narcotic Control Act and parts of the Food and Drugs Act were repealed when The Controlled Drugs and Substance Act was passed in 1996. This resulted in psilocybin (the compound in psychedelic mushrooms) being listed as a Schedule III drug. This indicates that the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms classifies them as a substance with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Previously, the Canadian government had set up a commission in 1969 that paved the way for a new attitude towards the policy on substance use at that time. It was called the Le Dain Commission, and it recommended decriminalizing the possession and use of marijuana. The commission also called for the decriminalization of other drugs while further investigation was in process. The commission’s position was that these substances should be a public health issue, not a criminal court matter. It wasn’t until 2018 that the Canadian government decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana for persons over 18 years of age.

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Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)

The active compounds responsible for the psychedelic effects of magic mushrooms are known as psilocybin and psilocin. These psychoactive substances are internationally regulated under the United Nations Drug Control Conventions and, in Canada, fall under the CDS. In accordance with the CDSA, engaging in activities involving magic mushrooms, psilocybin, and psilocin, such as sale, possession, and production, is illegal unless authorized by Health Canada. 

Authorization may be granted through the issuance of a license or exemption or by complying with relevant regulations, including Federal law. Magic mushrooms, psilocybin, and psilocin, like all drugs, are also subject to the regulations outlined in the Food and Drugs Act (FDA).

Historical Context of Psilocybin Regulation

The emerging mushroom industry is witnessing the participation of individuals and organizations aiming to capitalize on historical research in the fields of medicine and psychiatry, coupled with a more accepting societal climate that challenges traditional approaches to addressing mental health disorders and drug addiction. The growing emphasis on mental well-being and the legalization of cannabis in Canada influences this shift. As a result, psychedelics are increasingly being considered as potential therapeutic options.

In the past, there was a legal distinction between psilocybin mushrooms and the psilocybin compound itself. In cases such as R. v. Parnell and R. v. Cartier, it was argued that the possession of psilocybin mushrooms, in their “natural state,” was not explicitly prohibited by the law. However, in 1982, the Supreme Court of Canada in R. V. Dunn overturned this stance, classifying psilocybin as a controlled substance in both its natural and synthetic forms.

The sale of psilocybin spores is readily available in stores across Canada. In recent years, there has been growing scientific research indicating potential therapeutic uses for psilocybin. Health Canada has allowed a select group of individuals to get psilocybin for therapeutic purposes through section 56 exemptions from the CDSA.

Medical and Therapeutic Use

The potential benefits of some psychoactive compounds cause the Health Minister to exempt substances like legal psilocybin for medical and scientific purposes. This led the way for several other institutions to seek these exemptions and further legitimized the use of psilocybin mushrooms.

The growing body of research on psilocybin suggests that, when administered under medical supervision in controlled settings, it may have positive effects on various psychiatric conditions. These include obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol use disorder, substance use disorders, smoking cessation, Alzheimer’s disease, eating disorders, and more.

  • Depression 

Among the conditions studied, depression has received significant attention. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated that psilocybin can effectively reduce the severity of depressive symptoms, even in individuals who have not responded to traditional antidepressant treatments like SSRIs. 

A phase 2 double-blind trial of psilocybin assisted psychotherapy, the largest of its kind, revealed that a single 25 mg dose of synthetic psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, led to significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms after 3 weeks compared to a control dose (1 mg). 

  • Smoking Cessation

In a study, all 15 participants were followed up for 12 months, and 12 of them (80%) were also followed up for a longer period (at least 16 months), with an average time of 30 months between their first psilocybin session and the long-term follow-up. At the 12-month mark, 10 participants (67%) were confirmed to have successfully quit smoking. 

At the long-term follow-up, nine participants (60%) were still confirmed as smoke-free. Additionally, at the 12-month follow-up of the psilocybin assisted therapy, 13 participants (86.7%) rated their psilocybin experiences as among the top five most personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences of their lives.

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Psilocybin affects the brain’s serotonergic pathways by binding to serotonin receptors, which may help regulate OCD symptoms related to serotonin. Research suggests that psilocybin can lead to immediate improvements in OCD severity, unlike the weeks required for SSRI medication to take effect. 

It has shown particular effectiveness in reducing symptoms of doubt and rumination associated with OCD. This improvement can enable individuals with OCD to carry out their daily activities without constant worry about locked doors or the risk of infection from public restrooms.

Psilocybin in Canada

Health Canada recognizes that there are situations where access to shrooms could be suitable. Patients grappling with mental health disorders should consult their healthcare provider to explore potential treatment choices. Under certain circumstances, with the guidance of a regulated healthcare practitioner, individuals may legally access psilocybin through the following pathways:

  • Clinical Trials. Ongoing research is exploring the potential of psilocybin to treat mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and problematic substance use. 
  • Special Access Program. The Special Access Program allows healthcare practitioners to request access to drugs that have shown promise in clinical trials or have been approved in other countries but are not yet authorized for sale in Canada. 
  • Individual subsection 56(1) exemptions. Section 56, specifically subsection 56(1) of the CDSA, provides discretionary power to the Minister of Health to exempt individuals, substances, or precursors from the application of CDSA provisions for scientific, medical, or public interest purposes. 

Health Canada’s Stance on Psilocybin

Psychedelic substances are classified as “controlled substances” under the CDSA. These substances are categorized into schedules based on their perceived level of danger. Schedule 1 substances are considered to have the highest potential for abuse and carry the most severe penalties, while the severity of penalties decreases for substances in Schedule 2 and subsequent schedules.

Most psychedelics, such as LSD, psilocybin, psilocin (magic mushrooms), mescaline (peyote and San Pedro cactus), and DMT (commonly found in various plants, including ayahuasca), fall under Schedule 3. However, MDMA and ketamine are classified as Schedule 1 substances.

The CDSA commonly prohibits the use of CDSA-classified substances unless an exemption is granted under section 56 of the CDSA or authorized by the regulations. So, the expansion of participation within the industry is likely to occur through the utilization of Section 56 exemptions or increased approvals under existing regulatory processes

Section 56 Exemption

Under section 56 of the CDSA, the Minister of Health has the authority to grant exemptions for the medical or scientific use of CDSA-classified substances, or if it is deemed to be in the public interest. The specific process and criteria for granting exemptions for psychedelics are not yet clearly defined. 

In 2017, a group of B.C. doctors applied for a Section 56 exemption to get psilocybin for treating patients with terminal distress. However, their application was denied in March 2020 due to lacking proof of the medical need for psilocybin. Yet, given the growing public and scientific interest in mental health treatments involving psychedelics, it is plausible that section 56 exemptions may be granted in the future as further research is published.

Regulatory Exemptions

Despite the general prohibition, regulations exist that allow authorized individuals to possess, produce, sell, import/export, and transport CDSA-classified substances. The Food and Drug Regulations authorize access to psychedelics for persons, including licensed dealers and those exempted under section 56 of the CDSA. Ketamine, on the other hand, is regulated as a “narcotic” under the Narcotic Control Regulations and is legally available for medical use.

These regulations provide a framework for expanding and overseeing the legal status and use of psychedelics in Canada, including the issuance of licenses to potential dealers.


Individuals who are Canadian residents or corporations with a head office in Canada are eligible to apply for a dealer’s license for CDSA-classified substances. Currently, a licensed dealer can only sell psychedelics to research or clinical institutions that have obtained authorization from Health Canada. 

A licensed dealer can also import and export CDSA-classified substances, but each import or export requires a permit from Canada’s government health agency. While a dealer’s license enables the buying and selling of psychedelics, these activities are subject to rigorous regulation.

The Government of Canada’s Application Guide provides an overview of the policy for licensed dealer applications

Precursors, Spores, and Plants

Precursors are chemicals that can be used in the production of CDSA-classified substances like MDMA, LSD, and ketamine. The CDSA prohibits activities related to most precursors unless a section 56 or regulatory exemption is granted.

Although not explicitly legal, selling magic mushroom spores and grow kits has been tolerated in Canada for some time. This tolerance is based on the argument that the spores do not contain psilocybin. According to this interpretation of the law, once the spores germinate and a magic mushroom’s mycelium develops, it becomes a controlled substance since psilocybin is then present.

The Status of Magic Mushrooms

But what does that have to do with magic mushrooms? Although technically still considered illegal under the Controlled Drug and Substance Act, there is a relaxing of enforcement regarding the Controlled Drug and Substance Act. 

This means that currently, consumers can discreetly enjoy the benefits of magic mushrooms as they are not perceived as being the threat that they once were. Although we advise utmost discretion regarding the consumption and possession of magic mushrooms.

The best way to acquire magic mushrooms is to buy them online from a safe and reliable source like Zoomies. In B.C. and many other places in Canada, mail-order magic mushrooms arrive in a completely nondescript parcel, and it is highly unlikely that the police will interfere with that.

More studies and research are underway examining the positive results psilocybin mushrooms show for treating depression, PTSD, addiction, and much more. What was once considered a threat is now seen as a possible therapy.

Magic mushroom spores and spore kits are not considered illegal and can be easily purchased online. Therefore, you will not run into trouble with the law if you grow and consume your own magic mushrooms.

The Champions of Full Legalization

There are some pioneers that are leading the fight for full legalization. One such advocate for patients struggling with end of life distress is Bruce Tobin, a psychotherapist and professor at the University of Victoria. A strong advocate of the use of psilocybin to treat cancer patients suffering acute depression, he tirelessly fights for the rights of patients to have access to psilocybin.

Zoomies’ Discreet Delivery in Canada

Trust Zoomies Canada to realize the benefits of magic mushrooms. We have a wide selection of psychedelic mushroom products that can be discreetly delivered to your door from British Columbia, throughout Canada. We honour your privacy and safety.

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