YBOR CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — Psychedelic mushrooms are being sold in a brick and mortar store for the first time in the U.S., according to Carlos Hermida.
“This is going to be the new craze,” Hermida said. “I think mushrooms are going to be legalized before marijuana is, and I think mushrooms are very beneficial.”
Hermida is the owner and founder of Chillum Dispensary in Ybor City. He’s been selling hemp, CBD, and glassware products since he opened his business in 2018.
But after a recent conference in Las Vegas, where he found mushrooms, things changed.
Hermida says his mushrooms are legal because they are Amanita Muscaria — an unregulated mushroom — not psilocybin, the controlled substance commonly found in psychedelic mushrooms. Hermida’s mushrooms still provide a trip, he said. But some disagree.
“It’s nonsense,” said Florida State Representative Michael Grieco as he expressed concerns about the business. “They’re probably, in all sense, misleading the public and the market because no one can legally dispense mushrooms to the extent of what people are talking about.”
The Miami Beach Democrat said the loophole in the law will probably be filled the Florida legislature soon. But until then, having unregulated mushrooms on the market could be dangerous.
“I’m concerned about the lack of controls involved,” Grieco added. “I’m concerned about potentially somebody getting sick or potentially ending up in the hospital because of this.”
Grieco introduced a bill during session last year that would have legalized psilocybin therapy in the state. Psilocybin is the hallucinogenic chemical in some mushrooms. It’s banned in the U.S.
“We want to promote the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms,” said Hermida.
While Grieco wants the same, he said Hermida might set his progress back.
“This isn’t going to be coming from the street,” Grieco said. “It’s not going to be coming from the street, and it’s not going to be coming from somebody trying to take advantage of a potential loophole in the law.”
But Hermida said he’s been selling the mushrooms for two weeks, and it’s been fine.
“It’s been going great. We’ve seen a great response,” Hermida said. “We’ve seen no complaints, we’ve seen no negative reactions.”
You must be 21 or older to enter Chillum Dispensary.