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Police raid Waterloo Region magic mushroom stores for 2nd time in 4 days

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Days after being raided by police, two Waterloo Region magic mushroom stores were raided once again.

On Wednesday, police say they executed search warrants at businesses in Kitchener and Cambridge where the two FunGuyz stores are located.

Police seized a large amount of magic mushrooms, cash, and arrested two people.

“This is like some kind of terrible drug war anachronism from some other era that shouldn't even be on the books and we're hopefully going to change that,” said FunGuyz lawyer Paul Lewin.

While signs on their doors initially said they'd reopen on Friday, the two FunGuyz stores were only officially reopened to the public on Saturday.

According to a news release, police went back to the shops on Saturday, seized more magic mushrooms, and arrested two people again.

A 23-year-old man and 32-year-old woman from Cambridge have been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.

"The Waterloo Regional Police Service wishes to emphasize to the public that the sale (trafficking) of psilocybin is a criminal offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), as psilocybin is categorized as a Schedule III controlled substance," the release from WRPS reads in part. "Businesses engaged in selling these products are operating unlawfully, and the substances they offer are neither regulated nor subject to standardized quality control measures."

The Cambridge FunGuyz was raided back in November, shortly after it opened. It reopened a day after the raid.

The second FunGuyz in Waterloo Region opened in March.

A FunGuyz magic mushroom store reopened on Apr. 13, 2024, days after a Waterloo regional police raid. (Chris Thomson/CTV Kitchener)

“This is really a crazy, giant hammer that would be applied to someone who is selling this product that is non toxic, is not addictive, and actually provides all kinds of benefits,” Lewin said.

Lewin adds that there are many problems when it comes to accessing psilocybin.

“This is really a gray area in the law and people some people said, ‘what are you talking about. a gray area? The law is clear. You can't do it,’ Well, it hasn't been constitutionally tested.”

Cambridge business owner Jeffrey Butler says he isn't surprised by the raids.

“There's been some characters in the neighborhood since they opened," he told CTV News. "So we get a few of those out front of the store and just walking up and down King Street. There's the police presence and the fire department and what not, because as soon as the raid happens, it really makes King Street look bad and we're trying really hard to get the area back into shape."

Cambridge resident Sara Charleton also has concerns.

“I imagine it's to a specific clientele,” said Charleton. “I'm not part of it. It's more the location that is right next to a library with small children.”

While raids have been frequently conducted at FunGuyz locations, one local magic mushroom enthusiast believes the shops won’t be going away any time soon.

“A lot of people have been open to the idea of trying shrooms,” said Nithin Flory. “You have a facility, a facility that sells shrooms like cannabis and people are happy about it, people want to try.”

“They're passionate about their product and it is sort of growing, from my understanding, the underground micro dosing and I don't know, we'll wait for the studies to come out,” Charleton said.

Flory says the continuous battle of closing and re-opening magic mushroom shops won’t move decriminalisation of psilocybin forward and is calling on the government to take action.

“I feel like rather than opening and closing stores on a regular basis, they should come out with some legal stuff that allow people to consume shrooms from a safe facility, which is 100% safer than getting some from someone at the park or some sketchy people,” he said. “If the lawmakers or the government can provide a facility where people can sell and people can buy shrooms in a safe manner, I think that's going to be the best thing that will happen to people in this case.”

Lewin says he will continue the fight to decriminalize psilocybin and hopes to push the issue forward and pressure public discussion.

“I've spoken with many, many civilians who have talked about potentially giving evidence in our case, and many of them talk about how it's something that's just changed their lives for the better,” Lewin said. “This argument that no one can access it, i's too unsafe…people access it medically. They access it in clinical trials. So this law, it's coming down.”

More information on psilocybin can be found on the government’s website.

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