Sunday, May 26, 2024

A behind-the-scenes look into an illegal magic mushroom shop operating openly in Ottawa

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There are several illegal magic mushroom shops operating in Ottawa, including the controversial store Fun Guyz. One is located on Bank Street and another recently opened up on Dalhousie Street about a week ago.

The drug known as psilocybin is illegal to produce, sell, and possess in Canada, but it appears to be happening at several of the locations right across the city.

“We are pushing to fight for the legalization,” said Zou, at the Fun Guyz location on Dalhousie. Zou wouldn’t provide his full name to CTV News.

He gave a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial shop, which continues to operate since opening a week ago.

“Everything gets shipped from British Columbia,” he said.

CTV News saw a customer buying the illegal drug for cash only. The store offers incentives like 20 per cent off and a free gram for a review online.

Staff say they also ship the product across the country.

“Generally, when someone comes in and if I don’t recognize them, I ask if they have any kind of experience, even with weed in general, just these kind of things,” said Zou. “Then I make sure to go through with them about dosing. I try and encourage micro-dosing instead of grabbing a large amount.”

Psilocybin mushrooms contain hallucinogens. The drug can cause hallucinations and distort reality. Side effects can include changes in mood, anxiety, panic attacks, confusion, and paranoia.

Ottawa police were not available for an on-camera interview but, in a statement to CTV News, said, in part, “The service reviews and assesses drug complaints on an individual basis to determine the appropriate course of action, which may include further investigation and enforcement. The drug unit does not comment on current or future investigations and enforcement.”

While Fun Guyz has only been open for a short time, there are several other magic mushroom dispensaries throughout the city. Other shops have been shut down recently, including a Centretown location, where two people were charged in August.

Fun Guyz has opened storefront locations in other cities, including in Kitchener and Cambridge.

Waterloo Regional Police raided the location in Cambridge at least twice, officers made arrests and seized products, but the store reopened after each incident.

Under a very specific circumstance, such as when a spot is authorized by Health Canada, through a license or exemption, it may be possible for people to access the drug through a clinical trial or special access program, but the store confirmed on Wednesday that they don’t ask people for a license, as it’s a very complicated process.

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