What if Denver frees the magic mushrooms? Here are some opportunities.

What if Denver frees the magic mushrooms? Here are some opportunities.

VicesMarch 18, 2019 By Reilly Capps

The Mile High City will vote May 7 on psychedelic mushrooms.

No city has tried this before.

But, if the initiative passes, all kinds of people are already talking about what could come next: musicians, therapists, addicts and their sponsors, money-chasers, partiers, anarchists, shamans, wooks and wannabe holy-men.

Some of their discussions:

BYOM

Bring your own mushrooms. That's a phrase now.

This proposed measure only decriminalizes psychedelic mushrooms, not legalizes them. So, unlike weed in Colorado, you couldn't openly sell the little fun guys in stores.

But the Front Range currently has trippy cannabis circles and walking tours of Denver's street art for stoned people.

Those kinds of adventures could work with mushrooms.

So if you wanted to host a concert or a yoga class or a gong bath or a shamanic ceremony or a bachelor party or a midget wrestling match or a golf tournament geared toward people who are tripping on mushrooms, you could print on your flyers: BYOM. (According to several people thinking through the legalities of the proposed law.)  

MUSHROOM SPORE BANKS

But if you're gonna BYOM, how would Y obtain M's to B?

Shrooms are illegal nationwide, but you can buy spores — the mushroom version of a seed — online and have them shipped to your house.*

In a decriminalized Denver, folks are talking about opening a store that sold mushroom spores.

It would be like living in a city where you couldn't buy flowers, but you could buy marigold seeds.

Psychedelic mushrooms have different strains with varying potencies and characteristics, just like weed does. There's cubensis and azurescens, in the same way that there's Blue Dream and Cannatonic.

At a spore bank, the workers could educate you on the different strains, help you pick the one that's right for you, and offer advice on how to take them.

Which leads to …

GROW WORKSHOPS

So buying spores is not a problem. But turning spores into fungus can be tricky.

But grow workshops could be a thing. These classes could coach you through the process of putting your spores into a material where they could grow, and teach you about light and dark cycles and sterilization and so on — just like there are classes on how to grow weed.

There are already classes on growing regular mushrooms. Psychedelic ones work the same. 

GUIDED TRIPS OR RETREATS

In the Netherlands and Jamaica, where psychedelic fungus is tolerated, a couple of groups host mushroom retreats. You pay to be guided through a psychedelic session, either one-or-one or in a group.

"When the mushrooms become decriminalized in Denver, there will be a boom, just like there was when marijuana became more available," says a guy who goes by the name of Chi Amsterdam, an American who moved to the Netherlands and now runs three to four day psychedelic retreats "out in nature," using the psychedelic truffles that are legal in Holland — starting at $1,360 a person. "Nobody can stop the mushrooms from growing," says Chi.  

Could retreats happen in Denver?

"That is my hope," said Hope Mellinger, campaign secretary for Decriminalize Denver. "I think there's going to be some level of interpretation by the city," she said.

None of these endeavors would be explicitly legal. Unlike weed, there won't be licences for any of this; no taxes or permits. But the local cops would have been instructed by voters to look the other way whenever they see someone growing or using mushrooms.

"There's going to be a little bit of gray territory," said Kevin Matthews, head of the Decriminalize Denver campaign.

So, the path to a safe, non-criminal mushroom trip could — theoretically, someday — work like this:

1. Buy spores from a spore bank.

2. Attend a grow workshop.

3. Bring your own mushrooms to a retreat or a trip-sitted session. (Of, if you can maintain, the planetarium or the Fillmore or your cousin's piano recital.)

And that prospect has local mushroom-lovers stoked.

Of course, whether the initiative passes or fails, you can just ask the random person next to you at Red Rocks if you can eat some of her mushrooms. 

photo - magic mushrooms on TV Denver

[Psilocybin mushrooms are now on the Denver local TV. Cover photo by David Reishi. From @DavidReishi on Instagram.]

* Spores are outlawed in three states: California, Georgia and Idaho. If you grow the spores into mushrooms in most states, then you could be considered to be breaking the law — although not in New Mexico, where a court ruled that a person growing their own shrooms wasn't illegal.