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Magic Mushroom Grow Kits Spreading Like Wild Fungi

Easy-to-use, magic mushroom growing kits can be found on the Internet--but are they legal and do they work?

Magic mushrooms are fungi that contain the hallucinogenic substance psilocybin--which produces a 6 hour psychedelic journey, similar to LSD--and have been used shamanically by indigenous people in Central America, and elsewhere, since prehistory.

There are approximately 190 different species of mushrooms growing  around the globe that contain psilocybin.

But growing psychedelic mushrooms yourself from spores is not only illegal in most parts of the world, it’s often exceedingly difficult. 

Mushrooms are the fruit of a complex growing cycle, that progresses from tiny spores, to an underground, threadlike network called “mycelium,” which eventually emerges aboveground as spore-carrying mushrooms.

However, unless you have a good understanding of mycology, and a completely sterile laboratory environment to work in, contamination will likely ruin your fragile mycelium network before you can even get it out of a Petri dish and into a growing medium.

This is why numerous internet sites advertise trouble-free, magic mushroom growing kits.

These growing kits include preloaded, spore syringes (or early stage mycelium), and sterile spawn bags with injection ports, that supposedly solve the problem of needing a completely sterile work environment

The spore syringes are legal in most places, because they do not contain psilocybin (or psilocin), which are controlled substances.

However, growing the magic mushroom mycelium to fruit is illegal in most places, so the kits, with spores or early stage mycelium, are only sold for mycology-based genetic banking, genetic mapping, or forensic studies.

But these mycelium grow kits are sold with a wink, and many people use them to illegally cultivate magic mushrooms, so I queried some online mushroom-growing outlaws to see how well these grow kits actually work. 

One person wrote me saying, “I have used these sites quite often...They have always been fantastic, never any negative legal issue, and always able to produce good flushes of mushrooms!”

Another person wrote saying,“One of my good friends has had much success with growing, using spore syringes. He can go from start to finish in 3 weeks!”

Someone else said, “My roommate had a kit...got a decent crop...and ate them all himself, the greedy bastard.”

“I’ve had 3 positive experiences using preloaded spore syringes,” said another.

I received a negative report from this person, “Contamination from mold thwarted me on three attempts, even with a glove-box. I gave up. Don’t know if the contamination was from pre-loaded syringes, but I did try 3 genotypes (all from the same source though).”

This person sent me a mixed report, “I have experienced success as well as failure with these kits.”

Regardless of the legal status of the mushroom growing kits, in the United States, possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is highly illegal--it’s a serious criminal offense--as psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government.

However, magic mushroom spores, which do not contain any psychoactive substances, are only illegal in 3 states: Georgia, Idaho, and, I’m sorry to say, California.

Nonetheless, this is a grey area. In most states, if one possesses psilocybin mushroom spores, with the intent to grow psychoactive mushrooms, then this possession is generally considered to be a crime. 

Although receiving magic mushroom spores in the mail is not viewed a crime in most states, if the police or federal agents can demonstrate that one intends to cultivate and consume psychoactive mushrooms, then receiving the spores in the mail could be used as evidence in a criminal prosecution.

However, according to drug policy expert Earth Erowid, “...to keep the risks in perspective, it is expensive to investigate this type of grey-area crime. In some areas, evidence of having received non-controlled spores will not be enough for law enforcement to be granted a further search warrant. Police and federal agents are far more likely to investigate further for individuals they believe may be growing mushrooms for sale or distribution."

Magic mushrooms aside, there are plenty of wonderful edible and medicinal mushrooms that one can grow here in California.

Fungi Perfecti is a cornucopia for mushroom enthusiasts. They offer a variety of indoor mushroom patches, ready-to-use kits that consist of pure mushroom mycelium growing on a sterilized medium, such sawdust or wood chips.

While they don’t have any psychedelic mushroom patches for sale, they do have Shiitake, Reishi, and Pearl Oyster, and other tasty and health-enhancing fungi. 

Mushroom expert Paul Stamets, who founded Fungi Perfecti, is the author of some of the most well-respected books on growing edible and medicinal mushrooms, such as Mycelium Running, Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms, and The Mushroom Cultivator.

However, it’s interesting to note that one of Stamets’ first books about mushrooms was the classic field guide, Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, which allows people to identify naturally-occuring magic mushrooms in the wild.

To learn more about Fungi Perfecti, and how mushrooms can help to heal the our damaged biosphere, see: www.fungi.com

If you enjoy my column, and want to learn more about psychedelic and cannabis culture, “like” my Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/pages/David-Jay-Brown/115740098445882?ref=ts

and follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/DavidJayBrown 

Michael A. Lewis January 23, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Mushrooms should never be gathered and consumed unless one is a mushroom expert or accompanied by one who knows mushrooms well. Consuming mushrooms in ignorance risks death by liver and kidney failure. It is irresponsible to promote mushroom consumption on a list dedicated to drug culture.
John W. Allen January 23, 2013 at 08:45 PM
SOrry wto whomever wrote this article, but Paul Stamets first book was "Psilocybe Mushrooms and their Allies," not "Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World." a book which by the way has over 20 species in it that contain no psilocybine/psilocine whatsoever. And currently my updated list of chemical references of psilocybian species has over 200 and several more will be forthcoming in the updated taxonomic work of Gaston Guzman's Revision of the Genus Psilocybe, to be partially edited by Alan Rockefeller of the San Francisco Mycological Society. And furthermore, many kits are very simple to grow. Especially in terrariums, aquariums and mycobags. Read my history of psilocybian cultivation with over 300 large photos of their history on my site under mushroom john. John W. Allen
John W. Allen January 23, 2013 at 08:48 PM
I tried to log in five times and this page kept telling me to use another email as someone already had that email. Well again, stupid robotic program makes me not want to belong to this page as I am the person with the friggin' email that I used. This is not worth my time to respond here anymore. So goodbye.
Troy Donahue January 23, 2013 at 09:48 PM
For one thing thier is no need to have to deal with contaminants even without sterile equipment or glove boxes.It can be done by simply using Hydrogen Peroxide in a regulary cleaned environment such as a kitchen area or bathroom.You can find it on the internet by looking up "Growing mushrooms the easy way" on most any search engine. John Allen is also correct in stating that Paul Stamets first book was "Psilocybin Mushrooms and thier allies".While Micheal Lewis also makes the classic mycophobic comment from his inherited ignorance of the mushroom world as imposed upon us from the English tradition of "toadstools".Thier are indeed many plant look-alikes that are poisonous also but that does not recieve the media attention that the consumption of poisonous mushrooms do! Why is that? I can justify that statement by what is written in David Arora's book "Mushrooms Demystified" in the beginning of that text, the book is considered pretty much the bible on mushroom identification.
John W. Allen January 24, 2013 at 02:50 AM
I did not post my URL here as I am not sure if I am allowed to. However, any member here can read my facebook page under John W. Allen and I have three groups called All Things Shroomy. One is a Psilocybe group, one is an Amanita group and one is an Edible and Medicinal mushroom group. Plus over 3000 photographs on my facebook page, lots of psychedelic inspired art, temples from Cambodia and other drugs are discussed as well as music, art, photography, published academic papers and some ephemeral published works, a record I made with the Beatles and several thousand photos of Thailand and Cambodia. The latter are at my website at mushroomjohn dot org, etc. I put it that way or type my full name into any search engine and add the word photographs at the end of my name and thousands will open up. Now have a shroomy day. JWA
John W. Allen January 24, 2013 at 02:52 AM
For some reason or other, the author of the blog also failed to note the word, Entheogen which is used to describe the mushrooms use as a religious form of communication and healing tool.
carolsmith March 19, 2013 at 09:25 AM
I also have found a use full magic mushroom growing kit here : http://www.magicmushroommastery.com/
mush.kit2013@gmail.com April 13, 2013 at 07:05 AM
Thanks for the important information Michael.
Don Gateley July 11, 2013 at 03:28 PM
John W. Allan, your churlish attitude eliminates any interest I might have in your site or much anything else you have to say.

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