In the past, cannabis legalization has been successful and unsuccessful at the state and federal levels in Canada. Many companies thrived, few survived, and many voiced a bid adieu. This system created channels of outcomes, jobs, and products for consumers with various boons without safety barriers. However, the illegal market was always open to consumers. Currently, many regulations are related to the acquaintance and consumption of cannabis.
With the booming cannabis industry, many people were eyeing the removal of cannabis products from controlled substances. The most popular these days are shrooms or magic mushrooms.
What is psilocybin?
Psilocybin/ psilocin is an active psychedelic compound found in varieties of fungi, including magic mushrooms or shrooms. Psychedelics, usually taken orally, provide altered perception, enhanced vision, as well as enhanced creativity and hallucinations.
Is shrooming legal in Canada?
No, shrooming is illegal under Canadian Federal Criminal Law. Health Canada’s section 56a exemption program or special request programs are the only ways to procure it legally for medical purposes. Yet, one Canadian city— Vancouver, decriminalized magic mushrooms for personal usage.
Despite psilocybin being illegal, Canada has been negligent towards psychedelic usage for a long time. There are many storefronts and online websites that sell shrooms openly. The cases are rare where someone is prosecuted or charged with magic mushroom custody. It is the reason why vendor sells magic mushrooms routinely without any hesitation.
The legal status of magic mushrooms in Canada is undergoing several changes. The federal government’s move to decriminalize psilocybin for personal usage of certain controlled substances in 2023 will not impact the legality of cannabis in the state. In Canada, you can grow magic mushrooms for medicinal purposes
Shroom legality in Canada: History
In 1974, Canada designated psilocybin under controlled substances in Food and Drugs Act. In 1979, the British Columbia Court of Appeal in R.V. Parnell reigned that simple possession of mushrooms containing psilocybin does not violate the law. Further Narcotics Control Act prohibited the usage of such substances—
In short, FDA prohibit controlled substance. Alberta’s Court of Appeal legalized the possession of psilocybin mushrooms in Canada in a natural state. But, in 1982, the Supreme Court of Canada re-issued an order to criminalize psilocybin in natural and chemical forms.
Medical use of shrooms in Canada
Scientific research states that shrooms have therapeutic properties. The psilocybin in magic mushrooms may be effective in mental disorders—depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction, cluster headaches, and many more.
In addition, a few studies suggest that magic mushrooms improve problem-solving and enhance creativity.
In 2020, Health Canada provided the use of psilocybin in certain medical conditions under sec 56a of the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act. Psilocybin was used for the first time on health grounds.
In January 2022, Health Canada amended new regulations under Special Access Program (SAP). The new laws on shroom use in Canada allow medical professionals to appeal psilocybin for severe health conditions where there is no other way of treatment or are unavailable/ unsuitable in the province.
In July 2022, a complaint was filed against the Federal government of Canada by patients suffering from cluster headaches, opioid use disorder, and terminal cancer- requesting the government to think over the decision about the use of psilocybin in the therapeutic segment.
Updates on Canadian shroom laws
We now know that the Canadian government is changing how patients can access psychedelic drugs, such as MDMA and psilocybin. With an amendment by Health Canada, physicians are now allowed to request drugs on behalf of patients under the Special Access Program SAP.
Those suffering from life-threatening diseases and having no alternative treatments are eligible for this program. The authorities clarified it will not result in large-scale access to prohibited drugs. It will only be available for the patient’s use until further amends.
The Amendment: Shroom laws and regulations in Canada
The Canadian government published an amendment under FDA that allows restricted drug usage via Health Canada’s Special Access Program, including MDMA and psilocybin.
The SAP allows healthcare professionals to request drugs on behalf of patients— explained Kathleen Marriner, Media Relations Officer of the Communications and Public Affairs Branch of Health Canada. It is becauseof the therapeutic benefits of these psychedelic drugs.
Criminalization of shrooms in Canada
The authorities clarified that there will be no widespread access to illicit substances. It will only be accessible to the patient up till future modifications. Shrooms are classified as Schedule I controlled substances making them illegal for general consumption. As a result, the Canadian province has restrictions on possession, distribution, sale, and trafficking. Since they are forbidden, people grow and consume mushrooms they buy on the illicit market.
Penalties for shroom possession in Canada
Possession of shrooms on state-level penalties ranges from malfeasance procurement to serious delinquency. Modest fines or charges may apply if you possess a small number of magic mushrooms, but if you are discovered to be involved in the sale or distribution of shrooms, significant charges may apply. The number of mushrooms a person has, how he obtained them, and what he intends to do with them all influence the type of penalties that will be applied. Malfeasance accusations can result in probation, fines, and a brief amount of jail time as penalties. Some factors may lead to a reduction. While felony offenses result in a maximum imprisonment of up to 20 years and a $1 to $5 million financial penalty, depending upon the severity. Additionally, the defendant faces a $2 million to $10 million fine and, in the event of subsequent violations, a 30-year prison sentence.
Future of Psilocybin Magic Mushrooms in Canada
Canadian drug is flexible as compared to many countries worldwide.
Canadian regulators are case-studying Portugal— where the decriminalization of drugs led to a significant drop in overdose-related deaths and addiction.
Decriminalization of shrooms in Canada has ratified the therapeutic usage of shrooms for analgesic care— researchers are establishing ways to use psilocybin medical practitioners for mental health issues, including brain development, anxiety, hallucination, and many more.
We hope to see shrooms decriminalized in Canada, albeit we may not see all psychedelics allowed there.