PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Portland police arrested multiple people after serving a warrant at Shroom House in downtown Portland.
The wellness store has made headlines around Portland and nationally after news came out last week that it was selling psychedelic mushrooms illegally.
Portland Police and the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office served the warrant around 1 a.m. on Thursday, seizing more than $13,000 in cash and 22 pounds of “dried fungus and other edibles” that gave a presumptive positive test for psilocybin.
Investigators also seized records from the business, which officers said will be used to further the investigation, pursue prosecution, and deliver more arrests or citations “where appropriate.”
Officers made four arrests on Thursday in connection with the warrant. Steven T. Tachie and Jeramiahs F. Geronimo, both 32 years old, were booked into jail on 10 counts each of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and 10 counts each of laundering a monetary instrument, both felonies.
Cathedral School, a private comprehensive Catholic school, is located on Northwest Couch Street and 17th Avenue, a couple blocks behind Shroom House.
Steven Tachie is the owner of “Alive N Well Hospitality Group” and has been previously linked to the downtown business.
Two other people, 25-year-old Victor B. Fabela and 38-year-old Ivan Mametyev, were issued criminal citations for one count each of delivery of psilocybin, also a felony. They were not booked into jail.
Psilocybin for sale
The store on West Burnside Street has had a line extending around the block since last week after people learned the store was selling psychedelic mushrooms to customers. Staff at the store were requiring identification and registration from customers but made no secret of the fact they were selling mushrooms containing psilocybin.
A law professor said it’s unlikely those who bought psychedelic mushrooms could or would be charged under Oregon law.
Even before the store started doing business, it was open about psilocybin sales. “Coming Soon” signs posted in August showed psilocybin among the list of mushrooms Shroom House advertised for sale.
The use of psilocybin in Oregon
Oregon voters approved two measures related to drug legalization in 2020: Measure 110, which decriminalized small amounts of narcotics, and Measure 109, which legalized the use of psilocybin in a regulated therapeutic, clinical setting.
Neither of those laws made the retail sale of psilocybin legal.
State Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, a Democrat from Portland, is a family physician and campaigned for the legalization of psilocybin in therapeutic settings.
“This is 100% what was not intended with Measure 109,” Steiner told KGW. “I don’t think I can be any clearer than that. The therapeutic psilocybin will be administered by trained facilitators in a secured location with supervision with controlled dosing and with appropriate therapeutic support for the person who is getting treatment, and that’s completely different.”
Even though Oregon passed the law for legal administration of psilocybin in 2020, the clinics that are expected to do this kind of therapy have yet to open. The program has been gradually making its way through an extensive administrative and regulatory process before that happens.
Health leaders and stakeholders have until the end of the year to finalize these plans, which means the first clinics won’t open until next year at the very earliest. At the same time, a number of Oregon cities and counties have pushed for bans on psilocybin services — and many of those bans passed in November.
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