What is the legality of psilocybin in Canada?

Is Psilocybin Legal in Canada?

Psilocybin, the active compound found in magic mushrooms, is considered a Schedule III controlled substance under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). This means that it is illegal to possess, produce, or distribute psilocybin without a prescription or authorization. However, recent developments in the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes have led to some exemptions being granted for medical professionals and patients. In August 2020, the Canadian government granted four terminally ill patients access to psilocybin therapy, marking the first legal exemption of its kind in the country.

What Are the Common Names for Psilocybin Mushrooms in Canada?

Psilocybin mushrooms are commonly referred to by various names, depending on the specific species and regional slang. Some common names for psilocybin mushrooms in Canada include:

  • Magic mushrooms
  • Shrooms
  • Golden tops
  • Blue meanies
  • Liberty caps
  • Flying saucers

Is it Legal to Grow Psilocybin Mushrooms in Canada?

As psilocybin is a controlled substance, it is illegal to grow psilocybin mushrooms in Canada without proper authorization or a license. However, the spores of psilocybin mushrooms are not illegal to possess, as they do not contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin. This has led to a gray area in the law, where individuals may purchase and possess mushroom spores for microscopy or research purposes, but not for cultivation or consumption.

What Are the Penalties and Enforcement for Psilocybin Use in Canada?

Penalties for psilocybin-related offenses in Canada vary depending on the specific charge and the individual’s criminal history. Some potential penalties include:

  • Possession: Up to six months in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both for a first offense; up to one year in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both for subsequent offenses.
  • Production: Up to ten years in prison.
  • Trafficking: Up to life imprisonment for large-scale operations; up to three years in prison for smaller-scale offenses.

Enforcement of psilocybin-related offenses is typically carried out by local and provincial police forces, as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at the federal level. However, it is worth noting that enforcement can be inconsistent and varies by region.

What Government Laws and Resources Exist for Psilocybin in Canada?

Canadian laws and resources related to psilocybin include the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which outlines the legal status of psilocybin and other controlled substances, and the Health Canada website, which provides information on the risks and potential health effects of psilocybin use. Additionally, organizations such as the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and the Canadian Psychedelic Association are working to promote research, education, and policy reform related to the therapeutic use of psilocybin and other psychedelic substances in Canada.

1 thought on “What is the legality of psilocybin in Canada?”

  1. As an expat living in Canada, I am thoroughly appalled that the use of psilocybin is still legally prohibited. I have personally witnessed the positive effects the substance has had on a close friend of mine. One particular situation that stands out to me is when my friend was struggling with a debilitating mental health issue. Through the use of psilocybin, she was able to find relief from some of her symptoms, having a lasting positive impact on her overall wellbeing. In my opinion, criminalizing the use of psilocybin is a direct infringement on an individual’s right to pursue mental health treatment, and is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As such, I strongly urge the Canadian government to reconsider their current stance on the matter and to modernize their legal framework to reflect the potential therapeutic benefits of the substance.


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