A report of a major raid by police on an herbal products store in Portland, Oregon, caught my attention. Their offense: back in the Fall of 2022, they began selling products made from ‘magic mushrooms’, better known to the public as shrooms.
I thought Oregon permitted such sales, but it turns out the new law didn’t go into effect until January 1, 2023. The Portland store had begun selling shrooms several months before that date.
In December, the hammer finally dropped. The store was shut down, apparently permanently. Twenty-two pounds of psilocybin were seized. The owner and store manager were arrested, charged with 40 separate felonies. They’re pleading not guilty.
It was probably inevitable. The business hadn’t exactly kept a low profile. For one thing, the owners renamed the store Shroom House. Customers, including devotees of shroom-ing along with the merely curious, lined up outside the entrance — extending down the block, sometimes queuing up for hours.
People will notice that. It wasn’t long before the media showed up to take photos. Shroom House made the headlines.
Nobody around Shroom House seemed to sense this coming. One patron admitted he knew it wasn’t legit but frankly, didn’t think anybody got arrested for anything in Portland anymore.
So far there’s been no attempt to track down and charge former Shroom House customers. Weirdly, the owners had insisted that each patron complete a formal application for membership in a ‘society’, giving them the right to make a purchase.
That means the names and addresses of all the customers are already on file. Ready for access, should the police change their minds.
You have to wonder if the owners and employees had been sampling their own wares.
Other questions crossed my mind. For instance, if shrooms were illegal, where did Shroom House obtain its considerable stock of psilocybin-rich products? Off the Internet?
Also, one of the local rags paid to have a few of the Shroom House products tested, only to discover that some actually contained synthetics. Not the ‘real thing’, after all. Nothing natural about it.
That’s been a problem for the commercial cannabis biz, as well. What’s listed on the label is not what’s in the product.
Sigh. Just what we need during a drug epidemic now entering its fourth decade – more drugs to worry about.