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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Controversial figure Dana Larsen gets his psychedelics business license back

He had it suspended last May and his stores were raided by police in November, but it appears his perseverance has paid off

Controversial figure Dana Larsen gets his psychedelics business license back
Larsen (right) with cannabis and psychedelics lawyer Jack Lloyd at Vancouver's City Hall on Tuesday. Photo credit: Dana Larsen via X

Dana Larsen, owner of a unique chain of stores that sell psychedelic drugs, has had his business license reinstated by Vancouver city councillors after it was suspended last May. However, despite his enthusiasm and support from many, criminal charges may still be on the horizon for him.

Larsen said Tuesday that he couldn’t be happier with their decision. “I’m still stunned that we got our business license back. This is an incredibly important step forward!”

Although he is now the only shop in Canada with a license to sell psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and other psychedelics, the Vancouver Police Department isn’t very happy. The councillors who voted in favour of Larsen’s license have been receiving criticism as well.

“The products they are selling are illegal in this country and they are leaving themselves open to be raided by the police,” British Columbia’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said. Of course, a raid would be nothing new for Larsen. Police seized his goods and arrested him last November, but he just opened right back up afterward and carried on as he had been.

Psychedelics have continually proven to be an impactful treatment for mental and physical health conditions in countless studies, but they are not legally distributed in the country like cannabis just yet. Larsen consistently advocates for the benefits of psychedelic “medicines” and isn’t in the business to make money.

Vancouver police said Wednesday that Larsen could still be facing charges in the near future. He currently operates three shops in the city that sell peyote cacti, ayahuasca and more. There are about 20 different stores selling psilocybin mushrooms in Vancouver, but they don’t have his expansive catalogue of psychedelics.

It is unclear how he was able to obtain a business license to begin with. The mayor isn’t very happy about it either.

Read more: Vancouver police raid Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary locations, owner arrested

Read more: Vancouver mushroom dispensaries continue to operate in legal grey area

Larsen receives criticism for sending surprise gift to MLAs

In late 2023, Larsen decided to send every member of the province’s Legislative Assembly one gram of Golden Teacher psilocybin mushrooms and a coca leaf for Christmas. He sells tea infused with the coca leaf at his shops.

“I believe that understanding the natural form, proper use and cultural context around these kinds of beneficial plant medicines is part of the solution to the prohibition-death crisis currently ravaging our society,” he said.

Unfortunately, to say that some of them were unhappy about it would be a huge understatement.

“Is this why you are sending out unsolicited drug samples by mail? You have a vested interest in spreading use and abuse of drugs with your business..?! AKA drug trafficking!” MLA Mike Morris said. 

Farnworth also weighed in, saying that sending illegal substances to MLA offices in the province is reprehensible and wrong.

“I am outraged that this was delivered to my office!” Kelowna MLA Renee Merrifield said.

Photo credit: Dana Larsen via X


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