In many countries, psilocybin mushroom spores sit in a gray area of the law. You might be able to legally buy them, yet germinating the spores remains illegal in most countries. However, if you’re still wondering where to buy psilocybin spores, unless you’re in the Netherlands, be prepared to shop around the internet or spend some time in online forums. Then, once you do buy them, be aware that germination is still illegal.
Is it Legal to Buy Psilocybin Spores?
You may be surprised to learn that, in many places, buying psilocybin spores is perfectly legal. How? Mushroom spores don’t actually contain psilocybin! So, since spores do not contain any active hallucinogenic compounds, they can legally be bought and sold in 47 of the 50 U.S. states. In a sense, this is a loophole in legal rhetoric that penalizes the possession, sale, and transport of psilocybin, but not spores.
But, not all states have been so lax in their legal rhetoric about spores. The state of California has written laws that specifically ban the sale, transport, and gifting of spores with the intent to germinate. Bonafide researchers and research institutions, however, can legally possess and acquire viable spores. In Georgia and Idaho, the sale, transport, and possession of psilocybin spores is banned outright.
Still, for everywhere else in the United States, buying spores still comes with its own risks.
As Ophelia Chong explains, “Buyers should be aware that buying spores is only for research or education purposes, growing psilocybin is illegal.” Chong is the founder of Mogu.Care, a retailer for adaptogenic plants, and an advisor to DoubleBlind’s course on how to grow mushrooms.
But, you don’t have to be a scientist to buy spores. By “research or educational purposes,” Chong is referring to buying spores with the intent to study, research, identify, or other non-germination purposes. People in most U.S. states can legally buy spores so long as the spores do not germinate. Many traders articulate that they are selling spores for “educational purposes” or for “research and identification purposes” to clarify that the spores are not intended for mushroom cultivation. Rather, they are supposed to remain spores.
When Magic Mushroom Spores Become Illegal
While you may be in your legal right to buy spores, germinating them is still prohibited in most regions. Both mycelium and fruiting mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is federally illegal. As soon as spores begin to germinate into mycelium, law enforcement can legally charge you with cultivation or possession of a controlled substance. The same goes for the possession or sale fresh and dried psilocybin mushrooms.
Beginning in 2020, some cities in the United States have decriminalized the non-commercial cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms, including Seattle, Detroit, and several other places. As such, it’s important to research your local laws before cultivating. It’s also important to keep in mind that although some regions have decriminalized at the local level, magic mushrooms remain federally illegal.
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Psilocybin laws vary wildly across the globe. In Indonesia, for example, getting caught with psychedelic mushrooms or their spores is punishable by the death penalty. Meanwhile, in Jamaica, Brazil, Samoa, and the British Virgin Islands, mushrooms and their spores are legal to cultivate and possess.
Buying Spore Syringes Versus Spore Prints
Spores are often sold in two preparations: spore syringes and spore prints. Spore syringes are simply oral syringes filled with spores and water. The water suspends the spores in solution without destroying them, and good spore purveyors will often use purified water. Spore prints are more like a stamp. Spores are stamped onto a sheet of paper by laying a fresh mushroom cap face-down overnight.
Types of Spore Strains
There are over 180 different species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. But, to make matters more confusing, years of unground cultivation have created an economy of varying new mushroom “strains.” Theoretically, strains are types of mushrooms that feature distinct physical traits and growth patterns. These different strains are not necessarily abundant in the wild. Instead, have been selectively cultivated and stabilized over a specific period of time. Mushrooms of a specific strain are often cloned to prevent further genetic mutation of the variety, which would thus change its phenotypical (physical) characteristics.
Most of today’s strains come from one mushroom species: Psilocybe cubensis. Cubensis is the most popular magic mushroom variety, and it’s perhaps cultivated more often than it is found in the wild. Here are some of the most popular Psilocybe cubensis spore strains available today:
Golden Teacher spores are commonly advertised on mushroom spore sites. This strain belongs to the Psilocybe cubensis species. It typically features a light golden top and is often marketed as a strain that produces an introspective or wisdom-inspiring experience. However, it’s important to note that there’s no guarantee that any specific strain will produce any specific experience. All psilocybin mushrooms contain psilocybin, which is the compound that produces a psychotropic experience when its metabolized by the human body.
The Treasure Coast strain originated in Florida and is rumored to produce large flushes of mushrooms when cultivated. Although, keep in mind that cultivation is only decriminalized in select regions of the United States. This strain belongs to the Psilocybe cubensis species, which may feature a potency range of at least as wide as 0.14 to 1.86 percent psilocybin by dry weight, not considering individual strains. It’s important to note, however, that a wide variety of factors contribute to the psilocybin concentration in any given mushroom. Species, strain, and cultivation conditions all can influence the amount of psilocybin a particular flush will produce on average; we still have a lot to learn about the relationship between different strains and their potency. This particular variety is sometimes considered a good choice for novice cultivators.
The nickname “Blue Meanie” can be a bit confusing in the world of psilocybin mushrooms. “Blue Meanies” refers to both a specific species of psilocybin mushroom, called Panaeolus cyanescens, as well as a specific strain of Psilocybe cubensis. The latter is perhaps more common on websites that sell psilocybin mushroom spores. As such, it’s important to inquire about the particular species before purchasing Blue Meanie spores. The two different species require different growing conditions. Although, keep in mind that mushroom cultivation is illegal, and only certain regions have decriminalized growing.
Thai Pink Buffalo
The Thai Pink Buffalo spore strain is named after its place of origin—Thailand. This strain is another member of the Psilocybe cubensis family, which means that it likely falls within the same potency spectrum as other varieties on this list. Thai Pink Buffalo features a characteristic dark golden cap. Its also rumored to colonize quickly and produces sizable flushes. Of course, the virility of the mushroom and its mycelium will depend largely on its growing conditions.
Albino A+ is a unique strain of Psilocybe cubensis. Unlike the other mushrooms on this list, Albino A+ features a snowy white cap, although a trace amount of golden pigment sometimes remains. This coloration pattern makes this mushroom leucistic, a term indicating that the strain features only a partial loss of pigment. Albino A+ is rumored to produce large fruits with ample spores, which may make it appealing to cultivators. It’s sometimes called “AA”.
Where to Buy Psilocybin Mushroom Spores in Canada
Canada is a smidge more relaxed about psilocybin than its southern neighbors—but, just barely. Psilocybin spores, grow kits, and mycelium are legal to cultivate in Canada. Dried and fresh mushrooms, however, are not. So, purchasing spores with the intent to cultivate is not legal, but buying spores for research and collection purposes is a-okay. Most mushroom spores in Canada are sold over the internet in spore syringes and spore prints.
Where to Buy Psilocybin Cubensis Spores in Amsterdam
The Netherlands, a country long-known for its progressive drug laws, criminalized the cultivation and possession of dried magic mushrooms in 2005 and fresh mushrooms in 2008. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get your psilocybin on. Possession of up to 0.5 grams of dried magic truffles, which are young magic mushrooms, is decriminalized. The amount designated for personal use bumps up to five grams of fresh truffles.
Spores and truffles can be purchased from artsy psychedelic shops (or “smart shops”) in some Netherland cities. The majority of shops, of course, are found in Amsterdam. Smart shops often sell other “soft drugs,” like peyote and salvia. Although, “hard drugs” like LSD, heroin, and cocaine are still illegal under federal law.
Where to Buy Psilocybin Spores in South Africa
Psilocybin is illegal in South Africa, which means that possession of fresh or dried mushrooms is a criminal offense. But, the same cannot be said for spores, which appear to fall into a legal gray area. Spore prints, syringes, and other kits are frequently sold online in South Africa. But, just as in the United States and other parts of the world, germinating these spores into mushrooms is illegal.
Where to Buy Magic Mushroom Spores in Australia
Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal to cultivate, purchase, or possess in Australia. While psilocybe spores grow naturally across the continent—over 30 different types of psychoactive mushrooms grow in Australia—fines and sentences for mushroom possession can be steep. For example, possession of 25 grams of psilocybe mushrooms can result in a 25-year-long prison sentence.
Australian authorities have also historically seized spores imported from other countries, although the spores themselves contain no hallucinogenic compounds and thus sit in a gray area of the law. Nevertheless, there is a rich underground community of Australian spore and mushroom traders. Most spores are traded the old-fashioned way: connecting with someone who knows someone. Although, online forum traders and some websites continue to sell spores in Australia, which is riskier than in other countries. Bottom line: When buying psilocybe spores in Australia, do so at your own risk.
Where to Buy Shroom Spores in the United States
Three U.S. cities have decriminalized magic mushrooms: Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz. But, for the latter two cities, decriminalization doesn’t mean that buying and selling mushrooms spores is legal. (Remember: the State of California criminalizes the sale of psilocybin mushroom spores).
Nonetheless, finding spores for sale can be tricky. Remember, spores are still taboo and the mushrooms themselves are illegal to cultivate. These days, most spores are purchased over the internet. As Chong suggests, “the best place to find educational vendors is Reddit on the group ‘SporeTraders’.” An “educational vendor” is a vendor who sells spores for the sole purpose of research, identification, and education. A good spore trader, like Mushroom Prints, will clearly identify that the spores should not be germinated into mycelium or fruiting mushrooms, which is illegal and will not answer questions via email about the cultivation of their psilocybin syringes.
Where to Magic Mushroom Spores in Colorado
The city of Denver decriminalized magic mushrooms in May of 2019. This means that within the county limits, possessing psilocybe mushrooms is no longer something local law enforcement will spend resources on to go after or prosecute. Dealing mushrooms, however, is another story.
Cultivating mushrooms for sale is still illegal in Colorado, and law enforcement can still prosecute for selling anything that contains psilocybin. Rather, Denver decriminalization initiatives protect adults aged 21 and over who use or possess mushrooms for personal use. And, it’s important to point out, these decriminalization initiatives apply only to the city of Denver, not to Colorado in its entirety.
Decriminalization for personal use is very different than creating a legal marketplace for shrooms. Cultivating shrooms with the intent to sell is not legal, as there is no specific text in Denver or Colorado laws that decriminalizes or legalizes the sale of psilocybin mushrooms. As such, shroom vendors may be subject to the same felony penalties as any other Schedule 1 controlled substance.
That being said, mushroom spores themselves are not illegal in most of the United States. So, myco-enthusiasts in Denver are able to buy spores online or from local traders without prosecution. (Although spore vendors should be aware that anytime you operate in a legal gray area, the chance of harassment or run-ins with the law is always a risk).
And as for the rest of Colorado, spores can still be legally purchased online for non-germination purposes only.
What to Know About Buying Psilocybin Spores Online
Buying online is always tricky; how do you know you’re really getting what you ordered? But, buying unregulated and quasi-legal products like psilocybin spores can be even trickier. While the spores themselves are often not illegal, the manner in which the vendor procured them might be. So, it’s a riskier endeavor than your average internet shopping trip.
Wondering how to play it safe? Here are a few basic tips and tricks.
Shop from Verified Sites for Psychedelic Mushroom Spores
One of the most difficult things about shopping for spores online is knowing whether or not you’re buying from a legitimate source. If possible, look for websites that have standard marks of web legitimacy, including about pages, contact pages, reviews, FAQs, and recognizable payment platforms. Legitimate spore traders will also be savvy about the law. So, look for websites that sell their products for research, identification, and educational purposes only.
Psychedelic culture, while thriving, is still mostly underground. Before ordering from a promising website, consider posting in a Reddit or Shroomery thread to see if anyone else is familiar with the supplier.
Does the website publish consumer reviews? Read them! Reading reviews posted on the website, as well as looking up additional online reviews, can help you determine the quality and legitimacy of a vendor. The greater number of reviews available and the longer the review history, the better.
Reach Out to the Shop
When in doubt, reach out to customer service! Shoot an email to the shop or give them a call if a phone number is listed. Making connections before you buy can help you determine the legitimacy of the vendor. But, be warned: Many online spore shops will not sell to you if you disclose that you will be germinating the spores to produce psilocybin mushrooms.