When you step into FunGuyz, Montreal's new magic mushroom dispensary, the atmosphere hums with an unusual blend of nervous excitement. Behind the neon-coloured doors, lies a largely nondescript room lined with candy-inspired edibles and organic mushroom strains, a kind of meds-meets-sweets counter, laced with a tension born from operating in a legal grey area.
An air of defiance also permeates the store, where empty packages line the walls, serving as placeholders for the stock kept behind the cash register. Two television screens display prices that span from $30 to well over $300.
Shelves are neatly arranged with a dozen magic mushroom varieties, like "Blue Meanies" and "Albino Penis Envy," which differ in potency and euphoric, physical or visual effects. At the centre of the room is a glass counter where staff efficiently manage a stream of eager customers.
The front counter of Funguyz is filled with psilocybin chocolate bars, teas and even hot chocolate mix.Sofia Misenheimer | MTL Blog
The store workers are approachable and soft-spoken, keeping conversation to a minimum as they guide buyers through products and hand over bottles or bags filled with crushed fungi. The operation is cash-only, so the in-store ATM sees frequent use.
"The gummies and chocolates already sold out once this morning," a store spokesperson told MTL Blog. "We just restocked," he said, indicating that a limited amount of product is kept in-store at one time.
The candy-based merchandise is flashy with trippy designs of rainbow-coloured tigers with glowing eyes and astronauts stepping out into space. Mushroom teas stand alongside edibles, each package detailing the amount of psilocybin content — a chemical responsible for the hallucinatory effect of magic mushrooms.
"Shrooms are far less harmful to consume than alcohol or cannabis and the sooner they're legalized the better it will be for society," said one customer in line at the store who asked to remain anonymous.
Black and gold bags of various Ontario-grown magic mushroom strains, paired with medicinal bottles.Sofia Misenheimer | MTL Blog
But the store is equal parts treats and treatments. More conservative black and gold packaging resembles the look of medicinal or natural products you might find in a health food store.
The "Psilobites Energy" bag, for instance, promises a "clean and subtle psilocybin microdosing experience… to soothe the mind and body." Microdosing refers to the practice of ingesting very small quantities of psychedelics, too low to cause significant hallucinations, but enough to induce subtle changes in mood and possibly reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
Dosages listed on the packages vary, demarcating quantities suitable for microdosing versus those for recreational use. Recreational dosages are much higher and capable of inducing a full-on psychedelic experience with altered cognition and added visual effects. However, the store explicitly warns against even higher "trip doses," advocating responsible use.
A bag of 60 "Psilobites Micro" milk chocolate cubes.Sofia Misenheimer | MTL Blog
A standard seven grams of magic mushrooms go for around $60, while the candy-coated options range between $25 for the smallest 1.6g bag of gummies and $50 for 5g chocolate bars.
Meanwhile, a DMT vape pen — containing a hallucinogenic drug that can temporarily distort reality — is marked at $320 but isn't available in-store until July 14 at the earliest, according to staff.
Psylocibin candies under a price screen.Sofia Misenheimer | MTL Blog
Established two years ago in Ontario, FunGuyz always "had ambitions to make a home in Montreal," said a store spokesperson. The chain's entrance into Montreal is still a daring one, not least because the production, sale, and possession of magic mushrooms remain illegal in Canada outside of specific medical scenarios.
Despite the risk, he said, FunGuyz is resolute in advocating for the legalization of these substances. They have already weathered multiple police raids in Ontario, with seized stocks and arrested employees, only to reopen after each incident.
Operators of the new Montreal outpost, radiating psychedelic colours from its façade, fully expect a raid.
"If police come, we're ready to be arrested," he said, adding that customers can be assured they'll be back up and running as soon as possible. A second Quebec store in Laval is expected to open later this year.
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