Colorado’s laws on the use of psychedelic substances have been well covered in the national press but there’s still some confusion over what’s been legalized and what hasn’t. 

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the law changes are yet to have real results “on the ground” as the legal frameworks are still in the process of being finalized. 

Are Mushrooms Legal in Colorado?

One question asked frequently is whether mushrooms are legal in Colorado…

Yes and no. But let’s go a little deeper into this…

Which psychedelics are legal in Colorado?

The Colorado law changed in late 2022, paving the way for the use of certain psychedelics in healing centers across the state. 

In doing this, Colorado became the second state to legalize the use of so-called “magic mushrooms”, though other cities and states across the U.S. have decriminalized their use (more details below) and there is growing tolerance in many of the states.

Specifically, in Colorado. the controlled use of the psychoactive substance psilocybin, which is contained in mushrooms, has been legalized for licensed psychedelics businesses in the state. Healing centers run by licensed facilitators will administer treatments for people using psilocybin from 2025.

Additionally, the use of psilocybin has been mainly decriminalized for personal use by the general public in Colorado. It should be noted, however, that selling mushrooms in Colorado remains illegal and can result in harsh penalties.

What is psilocybin?

Psilocybin is the psychoactive substance present in “magic” mushrooms. It is a naturally occurring compound produced by more than 200 species of fungi. 

The substance is classed as a psychedelic drug, which means that it can affect all the senses, altering a person’s thinking, sense of time, and emotions, and even causing hallucinations.

Under the law, people in Colorado are allowed to grow and consume psilocybin and psilocybin mushrooms and their derivatives. These mushrooms look similar to standard mushrooms.

Which other psychedelics are legal in Colorado?

As well as psilocybin, people can possess ibogaine, mescaline, and DMT for “personal use” without criminal penalties. No quantity limits have been specified as of yet. 

It should be noted that the law does not cover LSD, which remains fully criminalized in Colorado, with charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

What happens if you’re caught using mushrooms in Colorado?

Despite the law changes in 2022, Colorado will not be accepting applications for healing centers, cultivators, testing centers, and other related businesses until the very end of 2024.  So, no healing centers with psilocybin treatments are operational at present.

Even after healing centers become operational, Colorado’s new legislation does not allow the retail sale of mushrooms. There are no current plans to allow psychedelic dispensaries, unlike following the legalization of recreational cannabis when cannabis retailer licenses were issued by many states.

A “gray market” has, however, already cropped up surrounding the provision of mushroom-related services because of the perceived fewer legal ramifications of selling the drug. Many people are saying that it’s now easier and cheaper to obtain mushrooms than before.

Decriminalization of the use of mushrooms has already been applied across the state. No criminal penalties are attached now to the cultivation, possession or consumption of psychedelic mushrooms. You can also give away mushrooms to anyone aged 21 or over—but you cannot legally sell them.

Anyone aged 21 or older can use or share the drugs without criminal penalties. They can also cultivate mushrooms within a 12-by-12-foot area on private property.

It remains illegal to “openly and publicly” display or consume psilocybin mushrooms though no criminal penalties are attached to such actions. Penalties include a fine of up to $100 and 24 hours of public service.

It should be remembered that psychedelic mushrooms remain illegal at the federal level. It is unlikely if you follow state law that the federal agencies will prosecute you but it remains possible.

Penalties for the unlawful sale of magic mushrooms in Colorado

Despite the general perception that punitive measures for the sale of psilocybin mushrooms have been relaxed in Colorado, harsh penalties remain.

The penalties issued for a conviction depend on the circumstances, the amounts involved, and the criminal history of the defendant. When it comes to amounts of the drug distributed, the current laws state:

  • Up to 14 grams: Level 3 drug felony, punishable by 2-4 years in prison and fines of between $2,000 and $500,000.
  • More than 14 grams but no more than 225 grams: Level 2 drug felony, punishable by imprisonment for 4-8 years and fines of between $3,000 and $750,000.
  • More than 225 grams: Level 1 drug felony, punishable by 8-32 years in prison and fines of $5,000 up to $1 million.

Any person caught selling psilocybin mushrooms to a minor (and at least two years younger than the distributor) can also be charged with a Level 1 drug felony.

Have any other states legalized mushrooms?

The use of psilocybin mushrooms is also legal in the state of Oregon, which was the first state to decriminalize mushrooms and set up a framework for the legal use of psychedelic drugs in licensed businesses for medical treatments. 

Many other states are running research and considering the legalization of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin mushrooms. Multiple cities across the country have effectively decriminalized the use and possession of mushrooms, including cities in the states of Washinton, California, Minnesota, Michigan, and Maine.

Psychedelics is a rapidly evolving space so stay tuned. If you want to check on the progress of psychedelics legislation across the U.S., this site is a great resource.

For informed advice about setting up a psychedelics business in Colorado or a cannabis business anywhere in the U.S., call 866-329-0729 for a consultation at Cannabis Law Solutions.

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