Ottawa police have charged two people with trafficking-related offences after searching what they called a magic mushroom dispensary in the city's downtown Thursday.
The charges follow what police referred to as a "landlord-tenant dispute" last week at Magic Mush, located at 370 Bank St. While on scene, they spotted "psilocybin, edibles, and other drug paraphernalia," according to a media release.
That same day, the police drug and street crime units searched the business and seized dried psilocybin mushrooms, as well as gummies, chocolate bar packages and $6,000 in cash.
Psylocybin is a psychoactive chemical that can alter perception and produce auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations. It is generally used recreationally and occurs naturally in certain mushrooms, though some believe it has medicinal purposes. It is a controlled substance in Canada and illegal to traffic in most cases.
According to police, the business later reopened despite a warning from the property owner to cease unlawful activity. Police returned on Thursday, executed a search warrant and seized more mushrooms, edibles and cash, as well as psilocybin capsules.
'Community concerns' about shop
Police charged a 24-year-old Ottawa man with possession for the purpose of trafficking a Schedule III controlled substance, trafficking a schedule III controlled substance and possession of proceeds of crime.
They also charged a 20-year-old man, also of Ottawa, with possession for the purpose of trafficking a Schedule III controlled substance, and possession of proceeds of crime.
Both have been released pending future court dates. Police said the investigation is ongoing and they may lay more charges.
The searches and charges follow what police called "frequent inquiries and community concerns" about magic mushroom dispensaries in Ottawa.
"The Ottawa Police is taking a measured proactive education, deterrence, and enforcement approach to address the legal and safety concerns surrounding unlawful dispensaries," according to a statement attributed to Staff Sgt. James McGarry of the Ottawa police drug and street crime unit.