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Fast-expanding magic mushroom chain opens another Ont. location

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A new shop in Cambridge, Ont. is raising some eyebrows in the community.

The newest branch of the chain FunGuyz opened its doors in the Preston neighbourhood last month.

“The demand for mushrooms is incredible – all over the country and all over the world,” the owner, who identified himself as Hector Hernandez, told CTV Kitchener.

“We’re going to be expanding hopefully all over the country.”

Hernandez declined to speak to CTV News on camera, citing privacy concerns.

He said FunGuyz currently has 14 locations, with plans to open a 15th in Hamilton soon.

The dispensary carries a variety of products containing the hallucinogen psilocybin, including dried mushrooms, infused candies and capsules – all of which are currently illegal in Canada.

“Psilocybin being sold (trafficked) is classified as a criminal offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA), as psilocybin is classified as a Schedule III drug,” Waterloo regional police told CTV News.

On its website, Health Canada says “although clinical trials have shown promising results, at this time, there are no approved therapeutic products containing psilocybin in Canada or elsewhere.”

FunGuyz is one of the groups pushing to change that.

“The laws here are just way too restrictive for people to gain access to it,” Hernandez said, noting he became interested in psilocybin as a potential treatment for anxiety and depression. “So we took the initiative to open up some stores so that adults who want to have that option could go and seek it out and learn more about it.”

The FunGuyz magic mushroom shop in Cambridge, Ont. on Nov. 10, 2023. (Dan Lauckner/CTV Kitchener)

While FunGuyz stores in London, Windsor and Montreal have been raided by police, Hernandez is unfazed, adding he understands “police have a job to do.”

“We were prepared for that, we knew that sometimes you have to break a law to change it,” he said. “We do have lawyers in place, we have resources in place to help us reopen the doors.”

Andrew Hathaway has been studying drug policies for decades as a sociology professor at the University of Guelph.

"Decriminalization could be something as simple as making it the lowest possible policing priority, for example, and it does make sense I think from a public health perspective,” Hathaway said. “We have an opioid crisis going on with highly toxic drugs out there. Psilocybin, magic mushrooms certainly doesn't come near to the level of public health concern.”

FunGuyz plans to launch a constitutional challenge against the law that prohibits the use and distribution of psilocybin in Canada in the coming weeks, Hernandez said.

Inside the FunGuyz magic mushroom shop in Cambridge, Ont. on Nov. 10, 2023. (Dan Lauckner/CTV Kitchener)

Cambridge Coun. Corey Kimpson said the city is aware of the store but it “does not regulate this type of business and therefore we cannot issue a license for something that does not fall under our jurisdiction.”

“The City of Cambridge has been in contact with the Waterloo regional police about this business and have been advised that they are aware,” Kimpson said in an email.

Waterloo regional police confirmed its Investigative Services Division is assessing the situation.

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