Inside the Magical World of Mushroom Dispensaries

The Magic Mushroom Dispensary Experience: What to Expect

With the psychedelic movement well underway, a handful of mushroom dispensaries are cropping up across North America. Most operate within a grey area of legislative uncertainty. Some shop owners define their shroomery as an act of protest, claiming the public deserves safe and affordable access to psychedelic medicine. If they’re not the ones to provide this service, they reason, who will? Ever wondered what’s going on with these magic mushroom dispensaries? Take a peek behind the curtain to find out what life is like inside a shroomery — for customers and employees alike.

What’s it Like Inside a Shroom Shop?

Jack (a pseudonym) is a long-time staff member at Shroomyz — a mushroom shop chain that started in Canada’s capital, Ottawa — and has worked at the shop since the beginning. He was there when the first location opened in Ottawa in May 2021. In our conversation, Jack told me he started working at Shroomyz because he thought it could be a “good opportunity.” He said he already supported the idea of decriminalizing mushrooms. Jack’s favorite thing about working at a magic mushroom dispensary? “Being able to help people” who need it and point them “in the right direction.”

The outside of Shroomyz is bright, neon, and psychedelic. Large window stickers of mushrooms are clear about what’s on sale inside. Ring the doorbell and come in — indoors, colorful mushroom-shaped lights, “Shroomyz”-themed graffiti, and branded t-shirts are on full display, in addition to their other wares. Like most cannabis dispensaries, products are not out for customers to touch or test. Rather, the store displays models and empty packages on shelves so those interested can check out the labels. Despite how it might seem from the outside, Shroomyz is not just for experienced consumers. “A lot of people are doing research on their own and finding out their own information on microdosing and come to us looking for more insight,” Jack says. “Sometimes other people will chime in with their own experience and help guide people towards what they’re looking for. [The customer base is] very, very diverse. We have lots of people who are new and lots of people with previous mushroom experience.” Shroomyz has a wealth of offerings, including tinctures and teas, but according to Jack, the dried mushroom products and the microdose capsules are the most popular.

Where Are Mushroom Dispensaries Located?

Most of North America’s magic mushroom shops are in Canada, largely in the urban hippie haven of Vancouver, British Columbia. Lenient drug laws enable this — Vancouver already decriminalized psychedelics and B.C. did the same for small amounts of most hard drugs throughout the province this year. Shroomyz is one of a few options open to the public and likely represents the largest current marketplace for psychedelic mushrooms. The shop made its way to Canada’s biggest city, Toronto, in the fall of 2022. As of today, there are three Shroomyz locations — one in Ottawa and two in Toronto. As Kevin Costner said in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” and people are coming to Shroomyz in droves.

Like most dispensaries, Shroomyz requires would-be customers to fill out a waiver and self-diagnose with one or more disorders. The idea is to understand what they...

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