Illegality Can't Stop Popularity of Psychedelic Edibles From Growing

Until psychedelics become legal in the U.S., the psilocybin edibles market is being developed elsewhere in the world.

Magic mushrooms are legal in Brazil, Jamaica and the Netherlands, while some other countries have decriminalized psilocybin or only consider the mushrooms illegal in their dried form.

But the closest thing to legalized edibles in the U.S. is the program under development now by Oregon. Measure 109, passed in November 2020, legalizes psilocybin for anyone 21 and over, with a program expected to be completely up and running sometime in the second half of 2023. The measure allows only one type of magic mushroom to be sold – psilocybe cubensis – and regulators are still working out what sort of psilocybin consummable would be allowed.

Until that program comes online, the legal psilocybin edibles market is being developed elsewhere in the world. Best known are the truffles made companies in the Netherlands, such as publicly traded Red Light Holland (OTC: TRUFF).

Truffles are actually part of the root system of mushrooms called psilocybe sclerotia, which are not specifically included in the laws banning the sale, purchase and the use of such substances and mushrooms containing them. One Dutch company lists a selection of five truffles, with various levels of intensity.

While they aren’t specifically the type of psilocybin that is illegal in that country and in most of the world, truffles can be processed into edibles and have the same psychoactive, trippy effect as magic mushrooms.

Plus, they can be purchased over the internet. Or you can grow your own magic mushrooms using spores and grow kits purchased online, which can then be used to make your own edibles.

There have been advances in how to do extractions to produce edibles. A process called ultrasonic-aided extraction is a simple and versatile method for cell disruption and the production of extracts from dried and grounded up psilocybin mushrooms.

This is the same high-power ultrasound waves used in the food, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries to isolate targeted compounds from plant and animal tissues. Typical applications include the extraction of flavor ingredients from foods (such as tomato, herbs, coffee, fruits and shellfish) as well as the isolation of pharmaceutically and nutraceutically active substances, such as CBD from cannabis, high molecular weight polysaccharides from medicinal mushrooms or vitamins from vegetables.

One main advantage of ultrasound-assisted cell lysis and isolation is the outstanding effectiveness of the extraction procedure, resulting in very high yields and fast extraction rates.

Bottom line: Psilocybin edibles are becoming more available, and their popularity is on the rise. You can acquire these edibles in many form factors, including:

  • Gummies, such as bears, drops, hearts and frogs
  • Hot chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Fruit strips
  • Tea
  • Honey

The options go on and on.

Some of these edibles are being distributed to a dozen Canadian provinces through an online dispensary created by three British Columbian partners; another online Canadian psilocybin edible company promises delivery anywhere in Canada.

In the U.S., there is an underground psychedelics edibles scene developing in California, as more states decriminalize around the country, and people begin to find out more about psilocybin as a result from mainstream publications. Some are calling shrooms “the new weed” and enjoying it at upscale parties in Malibu. (California itself is considering decriminalizing and potentially legalizing psychedelics with Senate Bill 519, currently on hold. The bill requires a working group to file a report by January 2024.)

You can legally get edibles in the U.S. if you are a member of the non-denominational interfaith church, The Church of Ambrosia, at Zide Door in Oakland.

Edibles magic mushroom shops are also popping up in Detroit (Rare Shrooms), with more than 20 different types of magic mushrooms and edibles for sale and delivery; Ann Arbor (Arbor Shrooms); and Washington, D.C. (Dreams Wellness).

Dave Hodes

David Hodes is a business journalist based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He has contributed feature articles to several cannabis and psychedelics publications, as well as general business/lifestyle publications, on a variety of topics. Hodes was selected as 2018 Journalist of the Year by Americans for Safe Access. He is a member of the National Press Club, and the deputy booking agent for the National Press Club Headliners Committee.

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