Winnipeg police raid magic mushroom dispensary, arrest 2 people for trafficking

Two people were arrested after Winnipeg police raided a business claiming to be Manitoba's first magic mushroom dispensary on Friday.

Ontario-based Magic Mush opened 1st Manitoba shop in Osborne Village on May 13

Two uniformed police officers are surrounded by media holding cameras and microphones.
Insp. Elton Hall, left, of the organized crime division and Const. Jason Michalyshen speak to media in front of Magic Mush in Osborne Village on Friday after Winnipeg police executed a warrant on the business, which billed itself as Manitoba's first magic mushroom dispensary. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

Two people were arrested after Winnipeg police raided a business claiming to be Manitoba's first magic mushroom dispensary on Friday.

Magic Mush officially launched its Winnipeg dispensary in Osborne Village on May 13. They previously opened stores in Ottawa and Toronto.

"At the end of the day, this is just drug trafficking," Insp. Elton Hall, with the Winnipeg Police Service's organized crime division, told reporters outside of the storefront on Friday.

Magic mushrooms typically contain psilocybin or psilocin, which are hallucinogens classified as Schedule III substances under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The production, sale and possession of magic mushrooms is illegal in Canada, but some exemptions are made for people living with mental health disorders to legally use psilocybin through a health-care provider.

Two people were arrested on charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking and the possession of proceeds obtained by crime in connection to the storefront, according to Hall.

Secondary locations implicated with the store have been identified in Winnipeg and more warrants could be issued, he said.

An interprovincial investigation is also possible, he said, noting Winnipeg police's investigation into the business is ongoing and in its early stages.

Winnipeg-based lawyer Jamie Kagan, a partner at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman representing the Ontario-based owners of the business, previously told CBC News the owners knew they were taking a risk in opening the Osborne Village store.

When contacted by CBC after Friday's raid, Kagan wouldn't say who had been arrested, or whether the store will remain open, but indicated he'd have more to say after the long weekend.

"We had lines around the block today. Hopefully the public will have something to say about this," he said via text message.

A black package labeled Magic Mush is held up in front of a busy intersection.
One of the products sold at Magic Mush, where police said hundreds of customers were observed in the days leading up to the raid. (Prabhjot Singh Lotey/CBC)

Hundreds of people were observed going in and out of the store in the last two days but police will not target customers, according to Hall. Anyone who purchased products from the store should dispose of them or bring them to police, he said.

Police were aware of Magic Mush when it opened on May 13 and were initially going to take a "softer approach" in shutting down the store, Hall said. Their position changed when they observed Kagan being outspoken about the business in the media.

"After the media attention, and the response from the business and the lawyer, this turned into a drug investigation," he said.

David Henteleff saw police outside of the storefront on Friday, but doesn't agree with how they shut it down.

"I felt like there was a little bit too much force involved … I don't think it's necessary," he told CBC News.

A man in a hat and sunglasses smiles toward the camera.
David Henteleff says he doesn't agree with Winnipeg police's use of force in shutting down the store. (Prabhjot Singh Lotey/CBC)

He said Winnipeggers obviously want and enjoy magic mushrooms. Henteleff doesn't think selling the product should be against the law.

Hall said he understands that sentiment but "there's no way to determine if these are safe drugs or not, or what the effects are going to be, so there's no safe approach."

'Not a legitimate operation'

Friday marked Winnipeg police's first bust of a storefront business selling psilocybin, he said, and Manitoba Justice fully supported the move.

"This is not a legitimate operation," said Hall.

"We have individuals who are taking money out of here, going to another location, and then bringing drugs back into here. That's a drug operation."

In a news release, police said further information regarding arrests and item seizures in connection to the store will be made available at a later date.


Özten Shebahkeget is a member of Northwest Angle 33 First Nation who joined CBC Manitoba in 2021 through the inaugural Pathways program. She is Anishinaabe/Turkish Cypriot and grew up in Winnipeg's North End. She holds a master of fine arts in writing from the University of Saskatchewan. You can reach her at

With files from Josh Crabb and Bryce Hoye