How Mushrooms Store

On a sparse stretch of Vancouver’s East Hastings Street, the Coca Leaf Cafe & Mushroom Dispensary stands out from its neighbors. A sign outside explains its legally dubious business, offering “microdoses and high doses” of psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Read More :

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On the inside, a large refrigerated case like one at a butcher shop contains jars of freshly harvested mushrooms. Customers file in to browse a wide selection displayed on monitors and shelves. They pepper the two staff members with questions about pricing, potency and how to properly store mushrooms.

While some shoppers were confident about what they wanted, others seemed overwhelmed by the options. “I don’t know if I’m going to buy anything or just hang out and chat,” said a twentysomething customer, who declined to give her name.

Mushrooms last three months in the fridge, and can be stored for up to two years if packed properly with desiccant or O2 absorber. But storing shrooms for too long can cause them to lose their potency. Obvious signs of bad storage include green or blue mold growth, a soggy or moist texture, and an overwhelming musty smell.

While psychedelics have entered the mainstream this year as Colorado and Oregon launched therapeutic psilocybin programs, the sale of recreational magic mushrooms is still illegal in most places. The persistence of shops like the Mushroom Cabinet may hint at how psychedelics will be sold once they’re legalized. But even if the United States does legalize psilocybin, it will likely take a while before mushroom stores begin opening up in cities across the country.

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