Let’s cut right to the chase. Yes, it is indeed legal to buy magic mushroom spores in the UK.
This fact often comes as a surprise to many, but the reason for their legal status is actually quite simple. Let us explain…
The Legal History of Magic Mushrooms in the UK
Not so long ago, it was completely legal to buy fresh (meaning unprepared or non-dried) magic mushrooms in the UK. That’s right, you used to be able to buy them at your local headshop for a few quid a go.
All over the country, stalls would be set out offering the latest and greatest strains, a deliciously tempting display for psychonaut. The industry was booming, or should we say ‘mushrooming’. What a crazy time to be alive it was!
One of the many stalls selling fresh magic mushrooms that popped up across the country prior to 2005.
However, the party poopers at downing street had different ideas. In 2005, the government’s Drugs Act 2005 came into force. The act banned the sale of magic mushrooms entirely, whether fresh, dried, packaged or otherwise.
According to Talk to Frank:
“The 2005 Drugs Act amended the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to clarify that both fresh and prepared (e.g. dried or stewed) magic mushrooms containing psilocin or psilocybin (such as the liberty cap) are Class A drugs. This means it’s illegal to have this type of magic mushroom for yourself, to give away or to sell.”
It would seem then that the era of legal magic mushroom is well and truly over. However, there are some seeds (or perhaps spores?) of hope for the mushroom enthusiast.
What About Magic Mushroom Spores?
Before we delve into the legality of mushroom spores in the UK, let’s quickly touch on what a mushroom spore is. The definition is very important in this context.
A mushroom spore is essentially the seed of a fungus. Just like seeds, spores contain all the genetic information needed to create the next generation of a fungus.
Magic mushroom spores do not contain any psilocin or psilocybin, the active banned compounds in magic mushrooms. These substances only become present later on in the mushroom’s life cycle, when mushrooms (the fruiting bodies of a fungus) are produced.
For a more detailed look, check out our blog on the mushroom life cycle.
The spores of magic mushrooms do not contain the banned compounds psilocin or psilocybin. The compounds are only found in the mushroom fruiting body.
Therefore, magic mushroom spores are entirely legal to buy and sell, because they do not contain any banned compounds. However, what they become when cultivated (magic mushrooms) is most definitely illegal.
It’s all a bit of a head-scratcher and highlights the tricky, and frankly absurd, UK drug laws. But that’s a topic for another day!
So What Can You Do With Mushroom Spores?
So, we’ve already discussed that magic mushroom spores are indeed legal in the UK. But, as with most things in life, there’s a caveat.
Under the Serious crimes act 2007, encouraging or facilitating illegal activities can lead to some very lengthy prison sentences. Facilitating the growing of magic mushrooms falls under this banner.
This means that spores are 100% legal, as long as you purchase, sell or trade them with the intention STRICTLY not to grow them. So remember this please! If you follow the rules, you’ll be golden.
- Magic Mushroom Spores = Legal
- Growing Magic Mushrooms From Spores = Illegal
That brings us to the obvious question, if you can’t grow the buggers, just what exactly are you meant to do with them?
Most vendors will supply spores as souvenirs, collectibles or for microscopy/research purposes. This is very similar to how cannabis seeds are traded legally in the UK market.
As it turns out, looking at spores under a microscope has become an incredibly popular hobby, with microscope sales surging 800% since 2005!
All together now – “for microscopy use only!”. Repeat it yourself a few times until it sinks in.
Ready to have a go yourself? At Martian Genetics, we’re proud to offer the best selection of mushroom spores available in the UK. Check them out here.