Crowds are flocking to Shroom House, the cash-only storefront on West Burnside Street that’s selling psychedelic mushrooms to anyone willing to part with $40 and show their driver’s license.
News outlets, including WW, reported the business’s existence yesterday. This afternoon, as first noted on Reddit, the line wound around the block. People at the front said they’d been waiting over two hours.
Leigh Boatright, a Portland writer, was near the back of the line. “It can’t be legal, can it?” she wondered.
In fact, it’s not. Shroom House is not licensed. The Oregon Health Authority has yet to begin accepting applications, agency spokeswoman Erica Heartquist tells WW. Even when it does, psilocybin therapy must take place in sanctioned clinics with trip supervision.
“They’re going to get shut down,” predicted Nick Ruggiero, 32.
The question, it seems, is when. A reporter polled the crowd. Predictions varied. Monday was the general consensus. In the meantime, the line was growing.
“It’s not exactly a well-oiled machine yet,” said Matt Hutchinson, 48. He’d arrived at noon. It was now 1:40 pm.
Hutchinson, who runs a Tigard escape room, said he had never tried psychedelic mushrooms before. He’d heard about the store from an Oregonian article and hoped the drug would help alleviate his chronic depression.
Jesse Brake, 37, was near the front of the line. Even with the wait, he said, it was worth it. In the past, he’d flown to Utah—and paid $300—to obtain shrooms from the Native American Church.
Not everyone was so enthusiastic about the new business. A man observing the line from across the street said waiting hours in line was unnecessary. It is easy to find dealers on Sniffies, a gay dating app, he told this reporter.
The man, who said he was “high on life” and worked for Amazon’s cloud computing division, had stripped naked and thrown his possessions (including a new Macbook Pro and two other laptops) on the street corner, observers said.
Although Oregonians voted to legalize the sale of psychedelic mushrooms in 2020, the licensing system has yet to get off the ground. Applications open in one month. OHA directed questions about illicit psilocybin sales operations to Portland police.
This morning, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau told WW that police are “aware of the allegations being made online” but to “not expect anything more today.”