A Portland herbal shop is openly selling psilocybin mushrooms, drawing lines of people waiting more than two hours to get their hands on varieties of psychedelic fungi including Penis Envy and Knobby Tops.
In November 2020, Oregon voters approved Measure 109, a ballot proposition to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin by therapists licensed by the Oregon Health Authority. The successful ballot measure is currently undergoing a two-year implementation period, with the OHA currently drafting regulations to govern the production, distribution and administration of psilocybin for medicinal purposes.
Another ballot proposition passed that year, Measure 110, decriminalized possession of small amounts of all drugs including psilocybin, but did not legalize the production or sale of controlled substances. Under federal law, psilocybin mushrooms continue to be a prohibited Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
Despite the fact that the OHA has yet to issue any licenses to psilocybin providers, the herbal products retailer Shroom House in Portland has apparently begun selling its namesake fungi. Last week, a local television news station reported that the shop’s owner had admitted to selling psilocybin mushrooms after a former employee contacted the outlet about the possibility of illegal sales and distribution occurring at the facility.
“I was led to believe by management at Shroom House that this was the first medically licensed and sanctioned place to buy psychedelics in the state of Oregon,” Kace Colwell told KOIN 6. “They’re breaking all sorts of laws over there.”
To purchase psilocybin mushrooms at Shroom House, customers are required to provide two forms of identification and fill out an application to become a member of the Shroom House Society, according to a report from Willamette Week. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and complete a questionnaire that asks about anxiety and depression, among other mental health conditions. A reporter from the weekly publication was able to purchase psilocybin mushrooms within about five minutes of submitting an application.
“Please use the products purchased from the Society in a responsible manner,” the application notes. “While larger doses of psilocybin mushrooms are psychedelic and will definitely impair driving, microdoses should not affect your ability to drive or perform other tasks.”
Shroom House reportedly has a variety of mushrooms to choose from, including Knobby Tops, Penis Envy, and Albino Golden Teacher, Willamette Week noted in its report. Seven grams of psychedelic fungi will set you back from $85 to $95.
OHA spokeswoman Erica Heartquist confirmed that no licenses for psilocybin providers have yet been issued. Sam Chapman, executive director of the Healing Advocacy Fund, a nonprofit advocating for the equitable implementation of Measure 109, stressed the importance of adhering to the guidelines detailed in the successful ballot measure.
“Retail sales of psilocybin are not legal under Oregon law. Nothing in Measure 109 or any other law allows the sale of psilocybin mushrooms today or in the future,” Chapman said in a statement quoted by Business Insider. “Many Oregonians stand to benefit from the healing properties of psilocybin, including those suffering from depression, anxiety and addiction, but the therapy must be delivered safely.”
But the lack of government approval is not stopping potential shoppers from lining up, in some cases for reportedly more than two hours, to join the Shroom House Society and begin purchasing psilocybin mushrooms. Customer Cassie Cadence said she waited in line for “like an hour.”
“But it’s worth it to me because I kind of feel like I’m kind of a part of history right now, which I think is really cool,” Cadence added. “Because I’ve been an advocate for mushrooms, psychedelics and that kind of freedom.”
Patron Randi King said he heard about Shroom House when a “friend of mine sent me an article.”
“I told my wife, and she was like, ‘What are we waiting for? Let’s go get some,’” King said.
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