A photo of Toronto Ontario

Ontario

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Ontario?

Ontario flag

The short answer is “No”

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Ontario?

No, Psilocybin and Magic Mushrooms are illegal in Ontario. This includes the possession, usage, sale and distribution except for rare cases based on medical exemption granted by Health Canada.

History of Legalization in ON:

Researchers and healthcare professionals in Ontario have been conducting clinical trials and studies to investigate the safety and efficacy of psilocybin-assisted therapy for conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance use disorders. Some prominent institutions and research centers have been involved in this work.

There has been a growing interest in establishing psilocybin therapy clinics in Ontario. These clinics aim to provide a controlled and supportive environment for individuals seeking psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy under the guidance of trained medical professionals.

Current Legal Status:

Magic Mushrooms and Psilocybin are illegal in Ontario, and all of Canada. The acceptance of psilocybin has been growing and the possession and usage of magic mushrooms is relatively unenforced by police, but ShroomShare still recommends being cautious.

As of August 2020, the Canadian Minister of Health granted an exemption to section 56(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, allowing certain healthcare professionals to apply for an exemption to use and possess psilocybin for training purposes and in providing psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. This change in regulation was a significant step toward the acceptance of psilocybin for therapeutic use.

Therapeutic and Medical Usage:

Ontario has seen multiple holistic centers open up within recent years. These 3 focus on using psilocybin, and other substances to cure ailments such as depression, anxiety and trauma.

 Field Trip

Field Trip is a pioneering venture in Toronto’s evolving landscape of psychedelic-enhanced therapies. Nestled within the bustling Entertainment District, this clinic offers an integrated approach to ketamine therapy, tailored to individuals grappling with treatment-resistant mental health conditions like depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and trauma.

The treatment process is thoughtfully divided into three phases: preparation, exploration, and integration. In the initial stage, patients collaborate with a therapist to establish their objectives while ensuring safety and consent. Subsequently, they enter a specially designed treatment room, radiating comfort and warmth. Ronan Levy, the clinic’s co-founder and executive chairman, highlights this aspect. Then, guided by a social worker, psychotherapist, or psychologist, patients receive a dose of ketamine. They don eye shades and noise-cancelling headphones, embarking on an introspective voyage.

“Patients may encounter vivid, imagery-filled experiences at times, reminiscent of stereotypical psychedelic journeys. At other times, they may find profound tranquility, gaining invaluable perspective and objectivity about their lives,” explains Levy.

Following the hour-long guided experience, patients are encouraged to relax in a lounge equipped with tea, coffee, and water. In the final phase, they engage in a therapeutic session that incorporates conventional cognitive behavioral therapy. Typically, patients opt for three to four cycles over a two-month period, reporting substantial improvements in mood and behavior.

Apart from in-clinic services, Field Trip actively educates the public about the potential of psychedelics through blog posts, podcasts, and a dedicated app. Levy emphasizes the importance of delivering high-quality medical care and showcasing exceptional results to garner broader support.

Address: Suite 400, 30 Duncan St.

Starting Price: $750 for an introductory session.

Remedy

Remedy, as coined by psychologist and founder Anne Wagner, serves as a hub for both research and practice. Comprising a team of psychologists and social workers, the clinic offers individual, group, and couples therapy, specializing in research on psychedelic therapies using MDMA.

Wagner established Remedy in 2018, following a pilot study in Charleston, South Carolina, which explored MDMA as a treatment for PTSD. Currently, she is recruiting patients for an upcoming clinical trial that combines cognitive processing therapy for PTSD with MDMA. While MDMA is still classified as an illegal substance in Canada, Health Canada permits exemptions for certain research and clinical applications. Prospective participants undergo eligibility screening before embarking on their journey.

For the trial, a therapist remains with the patient in one of the clinic’s chic, minimalist rooms. The duration of the guided experience spans approximately eight hours, contingent upon the dosage, which varies from patient to patient. Wagner notes that many patients wear headphones and listen to a curated playlist designed to help them navigate their emotions.

“We’re there to provide support for any intense emotions or somatic experiences that may arise,” says Wagner.

A treatment cycle consists of two MDMA sessions, coupled with several therapy sessions aimed at integrating insights gained from the journeys. Wagner is hopeful that ongoing studies on MDMA’s potential to aid PTSD sufferers will pave the way for more medicinal and therapeutic applications in the future.

“We’re not far from the day when MDMA may be prescribed as medicine,” she asserts. “When used consciously and intentionally, it can be a powerful tool for healing and personal growth, allowing patients to confront the nuances of their buried traumas.”

 Address: Unit 201, 703 Bloor St. W.

Trial Participation: No cost

Psychotherapy Session: $150 to $265 per session.

 Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence

The Canadian Rapid Treatment Centre of Excellence (CRTCE), under the ownership of Braxia Scientific, specializes in the treatment of mood disorders using ketamine. They initiated their journey in Mississauga three years ago and have since expanded their reach to Ottawa, Montreal, and a midtown Toronto location in November 2020. Their expertise lies in treating depression, PTSD, and OCD for hundreds of patients.

Ketamine is not a recommended solution for everyday blues. Dr. Roger McIntyre, a psychiatrist, pharmacologist, and the founder of CRTCE, underscores that eligibility hinges on experiencing what is known as treatment-resistant depression, defined as a mental illness that has not responded to at least two conventional treatment approaches.

Following an initial assessment to determine eligibility, patients receive guidance on what to expect and decide on the most suitable delivery method, taking affordability into account. CRTCE clinicians administer ketamine through nasal spray, IV drip, or pills, with the drip being the most reliable albeit the costliest option.

Typically, treatments last between 45 and 60 minutes. Due to ketamine’s tendency to cause an increase in blood pressure, clinicians recommend lyric-free, calming music during sessions. The dosage is relatively low (0.5 milligrams per kilogram), ensuring patients do not experience hallucinations, which are common with psilocybin, MDMA, or LSD treatments. However, patients are unable to engage in therapy while under the influence of the drug.

The primary advantage of ketamine therapy, according to McIntyre and Joshua Rosenblat, a clinician, is its rapid efficacy. Patients with treatment-resistant depression often report a significant shift in their outlook after just two weeks of treatment.

“It’s not just about alleviating depression; it’s about being able to experience joy once again,” Rosenblat notes.

 Addresses: Unit 6, 1100 Dundas St. W., Mississauga; Suite 6, 315 Avenue Rd.

Prices: Vary based on administration route, with a one-month course starting at $1,000.

Penalties for Possession or Sale of Magic Mushrooms in ON:

For simple possession of psilocybin, individuals could face charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Penalties may vary depending on the amount in possession, but it often includes fines of up to $1000 and potential imprisonment of up to 6 months. These are for “first-time incident” and can increase in severity for those who are repeat offenders. Please remember that the laws behind the possession of Magic Mushrooms are “not-enforced” but use this knowledge to keep yourself safe!

Selling or trafficking magic mushrooms is a more serious offense. Penalties for the sale of psilocybin can include significant fines and imprisonment, with the severity of the penalties depending on factors such as the quantity sold and whether the accused has a history of drug-related offenses. If used for the purpose of exporting and/or trafficking, the accused could face up to 10 years of imprisonment.