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Kitchener psilocybin shop reopens after two police raids in one week

Signage for a magic mushroom shop seen in Kitchener. (CTV News/Tyler Kelaher) Signage for a magic mushroom shop seen in Kitchener. (CTV News/Tyler Kelaher)
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A magic mushroom store in Kitchener has reopened its doors after a pair of raids by police.

The Kitchener FunGuyz location was once again open for business on Wednesday after Waterloo regional police raided the store on April 10 and April 13, seizing product and making arrests.

Waterloo Region Police Services Chief Mark Crowell was asked about the reopening on Wednesday following the police service’s board meeting.

“We’re making our best efforts, from an enforcement standpoint, to conduct investigations that will lead to, hopefully, the closure of these businesses, but there’s a process that’s involved. So we’re looking for local support from the courts and the Crown attorney’s office locally with the charges that have been laid. We’re also looking to coordinate this from a provincial standpoint because there are other jurisdictions that have this business operating as well.”

He added the police will use whatever means they can to continue to take action against the stores.

Speaking Monday, CTV News public safety analyst and former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Chris Lewis said while the stores are illegal, the raids cost taxpayers money.

“You’re taking a number of officers off what they normally would be doing. There is no end to the work that’s available to them out there, so for them to prepare a warrant, execute the warrant, put people before the courts, it’s a lot of work.”

Lewis also said police have more serious, and potentially more harmful, drugs to focus on.

“[Psilocybin] can be physically harmful, but on the big scale of things, when you look at opioids that are actually a very micro-dot of them can actually kill somebody, there’s not that physical danger immediately in terms of fatality.”

For the moment, it appears as though the owners of psilocybin shops have no plans to shut down for good.

“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,” FunGuyz lawyer Paul Lewin said during an interview with CTV News earlier this week.

With reporting from Hannah Schmidt and Colton Wiens

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