Is it Legal to Buy Mushroom Grow Kits? Your Questions Answered – Mushroom Grow Kit FAQ
Whether you’re wondering how long it takes to grow psilocybe cubensis (and why you shouldn’t if you’re living in a jurisdiction where doing so is illegal) or what kind of mycology equipment should come with a great mushroom growing kit, this Monster Mushroom Company article is intended to answer all of your questions, including the ones you might not have even known you had!
You’re going to learn the answers to the following subjects:
- Is it legal to buy mushroom grow kits?
- If psilocybin has been decriminalized where I live, can I grow Psilocybe cubensis now? (Spoiler: no.)
- Why is it legal to cultivate Psilocybe cubensis in New Mexico, and what special conditions apply?
- What kind of mushroom growing supplies do I need to get started growing legal gourmet or ornamental mushrooms?
- What should a good mushroom grow kit include?
- What’s the difference between commercial mushroom growing equipment & DIY mushroom growing supplies?
- What other mycology and mushroom growing resources should I familiarize myself with as a beginner or intermediate grower?
So, let’s begin by getting some of the “boring” topics out of the way first—legality concerning certain mushroom types, some important definitions you absolutely must understand, and why growing Psilocybe cubensis is actually legal in New Mexico, but pretty much nowhere else in the country.
Is it Legal to Buy Mushroom Grow Kits?
Short answer: yes.
Long answer: yes. A mushroom growing kit is entirely legal, since the overwhelming majority of mushrooms are perfectly legal to grow, possess, dehydrate, re-hydrate, and enjoy in a delicious omelette. The kit itself is perfectly legal, but what you do with it—and what kind of mushrooms you grow—might not be, depending on where you live.
In most cases, the legal trouble you can run into with a mushroom grow kit is when you’re using it as a psilocybe grow kit in the USA… or in other words, when you’re using it as a magic mushroom grow kit.
So-called “magic mushrooms” contain psilocybin, which is listed in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I substance. In other words, it’s illegal in most of the United States and many other countries too.
Having said that, if you plan to use one of our wonderful All-in-One Grow Kits to cultivate and harvest anything from shiitake to button mushrooms, nobody will bat an eye because you’re not doing anything wrong!
A little later in this article we’ll tell you all about everything you could ever want to know about the best mushroom grow kits—where to get them, what they should include, and more—but for now, let’s answer a few more legal questions, beginning with one that’s caused a lot of confusion, particularly in our hometown of Denver, Colorado.
Psilocybin Has Been Decriminalized in My Area. Does That Mean I Can Learn How to Grow Psilocybe Cubensis Now?
You may have heard on the news that psilocybin has been recently decriminalized where you live—this is the case in Denver, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and several other municipalities throughout the country.
However, and this isvery important to understand: the word “decriminalized” does NOT mean the same thing as “legalized”.
This has caused much confusion for would-be psychonauts in those areas. Again, if you are ever uncertain of your local laws, please consult with your local authorities to be absolutely sure that what you’re doing is legal. Now, let’s clear up some of that confusion and define the very, very important distinction between decriminalization and legalization.
Decriminalization means that when an illegal act is performed, such as growing psilocybin mushrooms, criminal penalties aren’t likely to be enforced. However, civil penalties, such as a fine or other punishment, may still apply. Decriminalization legislation takes many forms and can often be vague, but one thing is crystal clear: decriminalized acts are still against the law and punishments can and do occur—they just aren’t likely to be as severe as before decriminalization took place.
Legalization refers to when a previously illegal act is no longer so; in other words, what was once illegal is now legal. A good example of this is the end of the prohibition era in the United States: from 1920 to 1933, alcohol was illegal. After prohibition ended, it was made legal again, or it underwent legalization. Please note that alcohol wasn’t “decriminalized” after prohibition, because that would have a very different meaning.
We apologize for the long-winded and somewhat boring explanation here, but as you now no doubt know, it’s very important to understand the differences between these two terms!
Growing Psilocybe Cubensis: Legal in New Mexico, With Special Conditions
If you’re wondering how to grow Psilocybe cubensis, otherwise known as “magic mushrooms”, please make sure that it’s legal to do so where you live! Psilocybin, the active psychedelic compound found in Psilocybe cubensis and other psychedelic mushrooms, is illegal in most of the United States and many other countries.
There is one noteworthy exception: the state of New Mexico. In 2005, the state Court of Appeals decided that cultivating psychoactive mushrooms isn’t prohibited under anti drug manufacturing laws. Please see this detailed news article for more information.
The result of these changes in the law means that one can grow Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms in the state of New Mexico—and in fact over the past decade and a half, a small cottage industry has appeared in the state for “legal trippers” to come and enjoy the psilocybin experience.
There is, however, a very very important condition to understand about growing cubensis mushrooms in New Mexico: they may not be dried or preserved in any way. Therefore, only fresh, unaltered mushrooms are legal to possess. In New Mexico, psilocybin containing mushrooms can be grown and even consumed legally, but never preserved. To law enforcement, this could appear as an intent to manufacture psilocybin, which is still very much illegal indeed.
A Final Note on Magic Mushroom Legality
Always, always check with your local authorities before doing anything relating to mushrooms. We’re not just talking about growing Psilocybe cubensis either—many areas place legal restrictions on truffle hunting or mushroom foraging. Be smart and don’t break the law.
Now that we’ve covered the most important legal aspects you need to be aware of when growing mushrooms, we can start to dive into some of the more fun topics. For example, the best mushroom growing equipment and what you need to get started.
Let’s dive in:
What Kind of Mushroom Growing Supplies Do I Need?
Note: skip the homework and get an All-in-One Mushroom Grow Kit here!
Mushroom cultivation is such a great hobby (or profession, as we explored in our blog post about profitable mushroom growing) because it’s very affordable to get started in, you don’t need a ton of mushroom growing equipment, and you don’t even need all that much space—a section of your bedroom is even enough for a small-scale grow.
You do, however, absolutely need a few things. You’re going to need spores or colonized spawn, a growing chamber, and fruiting substrate at minimum. You’ll also need a sterile working environment. Other items, such as lab equipment, a hygrometer, a microscope for spore research, and so on are all nice to have but not strictly required (but as you get into the hobby, you’ll likely want all of these things—perhaps minus the microscope if you’re not a professional mycologist).
In the most basic of terms, one can think of mushroom spores as the “seeds” of the fungi, although they’re very different from plant seeds! Spores are how fungi propagate themselves, and can be acquired usually in the form of a spore syringe or spore print. A spore syringe contains mushroom spores in a non-nutrient based aqueous liquid (generally distilled water). A spore print is a sheet of paper which captured spores from a mushroom as they were expelled. Which you use is a matter of preference, though most mushroom growers strongly prefer spore syringes as they’re easier use and far less prone to contamination.
However you choose to house your spores, they’ll need to be introduced to a spawning substrate—a material that will promote mycelial colonization. A leading example is our grain spawn.
Once you have beautifully colonized grain spawn, you can introduce it to your fruiting substrate. Typically, colonized grain spawn is broken up, distributed throughout the fruiting substrate, and then the entire mix is placed inside the growing chamber.
The next requirement is simply patience and taking good care of your mushrooms. If you follow our mushroom cultivation guide, you’ll have a bountiful harvest in no time!
What we’ve discussed here is the absolute minimum needed to get started with mushroom growing, but there are certainly other things that will come in handy. You can get a better idea in our article about mycology supplies.
What Should a Good Mushroom Grow Kit Include?
This is an easy one to answer: just look at what’s included with our All-in-One mushroom grow kit.
Seriously—we’ve thought of everything you could possibly want. While you might be able to find slightly cheaper mushroom grow kits out there in Internet-land, the fact of the matter is that we’re real mushroom cultivators, and quality matters to us. We’ve hand picked every item in the kit because we know what you’re actually going to need. Accept no less than the best!
Novice to Pro: What’s The Difference Between Commercial Mushroom Growing Supplies & DIY Mushroom Growing Supplies?
In a word, the difference between commercial mushroom growing supplies and your run-of-the-mill DIY mushroom growing equipment is this: quality.
When you choose to shop with The Monster Mushroom Company, you’re guaranteed a level of quality that you just can’t get from household items or stuff from the hardware or garden store.
This is true for everything in our product lineup—a great example are our grow bags. We’ve seen people try to use it all for grow bags; everything from grocery bags to zipper-lock freezer bags. Our mushroom grow bags are specifically designed for fungi—and, critically, they have a 5 micron filter patch for easy inoculation. Similarly, our mushroom spawning bags have self-healing injection ports to maximize sterility and to minimize the possibility of contamination.
Even something as deceptively simple as a monotub is better when you’re using a commercial-grade version. Our monotubs, included with our All-in-One mushroom grow kit, are professionally made with smooth, perfectly spaced air intake holes, a sturdy construction, and locking handles for maximum security.
What Other Mycology Resources Should I Familiarize Myself With?
Make no mistake about it: the best way to learn is by doing—so go ahead and order yourself a Monster Mushroom Company All-in-One Mushroom Grow Kit and get started. Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty. It’s an absolute blast!
Having said that, if you’d like to learn a little more, we have many resources available here on the website. Start with our tips for mushroom cultivation beginners, then read all about why monotubs are one of the best ways to grow mushrooms. You might also want to check out our detailed article where you’ll learn more than you ever thought there was to know about mushroom fruiting substrates.
If you’re more of a visual learner, you’ll love our mushroom cultivation video guides.
Finally, if you haven’t downloaded our 100% free eBook yet, we strongly urge you to do so! The Fungi Crash Course not only includes a lot of key information about how to cultivate mushrooms, but also has a long and detailed glossary of terms that every at-home mycologist and mushroom grower needs to know.
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