Cambridge, Ont. magic mushroom dispensary raided and shut down by police
Waterloo regional police raided a magic mushroom dispensary in Cambridge, Ont. on Tuesday.
The FunGuyz location, on King Street in the Preston neighbourhood, opened earlier this month.
Police said they seized a large amount of suspected psilocybin (magic mushrooms) in various forms and cash.
A 20-year-old Kitchener man has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Witnesses saw officers carrying large sealed bags out of the shop around 1 p.m.
"I watched from my window as they brought out a bunch of, I am assuming, magic mushrooms to the unmarked police car," said Emily, who lives nearby. "We came home and there were a bunch of police and there were undercover cops dressed in street clothes."
Loud bangs were also heard coming from inside the building.
Tactical officers then emerged carrying a sledgehammer and a saw.
Waterloo regional police coming out of the FunGuyz magic mushroom shop in Cambridge, Ont. on Nov. 14, 2023. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)
Emily told CTV News she has mixed feelings about having a magic mushroom store nearby.
"I know that they are illegal, so it made me question my safety a bit," she explained.
Despite her concerns, Emily said there have been no issues since the dispensary opened.
Another witness said she saw the police activity as she was walking by.
"I saw the cop car and I wondered if they were shutting this down," Deep added.
She called the raid unnecessary.
"I think that taking down the little dispensaries that pop up are kind of futile. It's like, what's the point? I think it's a waste of resources."
Waterloo regional police outside the FunGuyz magic mushroom store in Cambridge, Ont. on Nov. 14, 2023. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)
The store owner, who identified himself as Hector Hernandez, told CTV News the closure is temporary.
“We will reopen,” he promised. “The job of the police is pretty self-evident. We know what to do and we don’t interfere with their duties. Our job, as part of this fight, is to remain open to the customers of Cambridge, for those who want access to psilocybin.”
Hernandez said he hopes to reopen in a few days.
Waterloo regional police lock up the FunGuyz magic mushroom store in Cambridge, Ont. after a raid and arrest on Nov. 14, 2023. (Jeff Pickel/CTV Kitchener)
MORE SHOPS SHUT DOWN
The Cambridge location isn’t the first FunGuyz shop to be shut down.
Dispensaries in St. Thomas, Windsor and Wasaga Beach have recently been raided by local police.
Authorities also shut down other magic mushroom dispensaries across Ontario.
"Every single city is different," said Hernandez. "It all depends on the Crown Prosecutor of that city, to what extent they'd like to execute [the law]."
He argues the business of magic mushrooms is about more than the bottom line.
"The entire point of what we're doing is to change the sentiment and some of the misunderstandings surrounding psilocybin."
Magic mushrooms are a restricted substance in Canada and it’s illegal to produce, possess or sell.
Clinical trials are currently underway, looking into potential therapeutic uses for psilocybin.
-- With reporting by Jeff Pickel
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