Portland police on Thursday morning raided a West Burnside storefront that has been openly – and illegally – selling magic mushrooms.
Over the past week, after several local news outlets – including The Oregonian/OregonLive – published stories about Shroom House, lines have stretched down the block at Northwest 16th Avenue and Burnside, with Portlanders eager to stock up on psilocybin products.
But the magic proved short-lived.
Officers with the Portland Police Bureau’s Narcotics and Organized Crime unit executed a search warrant at the shop early on Thursday morning, about 1 a.m.
By 7:30 a.m., the storefront was empty and locked up; the lights were still on but there were no products on the shelves. The ATM in the shop stood open.
Portland police spokesperson Kevin Allen confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that officers made four arrests and seized $13,000 in cash and a “large amount of suspected psilocybin products” at the shop.
Steven Tony Tachie, Jr., 32, and Jeramiahs Geronimo, 32, were booked at the Multnomah County Detention Center just after 4 a.m. Oregon Secretary of State records list Tachie as the owner of Alive N’ Well Hospitality LLC, the name of the company operating Shroom House, KOIN 6 reported last week.
Tachie and Geronimo both face accusations of 10 felony counts of money laundering and 10 counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. Cathedral School, a Catholic kindergarten-through-8th-grade campus, is about one block from Shroom House.
Two others — 25-year-old Victor Fabela and 38-year-old Ivan Mametyev — were cited on allegations of delivering psilocybin, a class A felony.
Oregonians in 2020 voted to create a legal psilocybin program via Measure 109. Starting in January 2023, people 21 and older will be allowed to take the psychedelic compound in a controlled, therapeutic environment under the supervision of trained facilitators. Oregon has no licensed psilocybin facilitators or service centers at this time.
The measure did not allow for the retail sale of psilocybin, but for the past month or so, Shroom House sold the substance openly.
Their advertisements were far from discreet. Shroom House, whose owners have remained elusive and out of the public eye, announced its grand opening via Twitter on Oct. 24. Its logo appeared on a Portland billboard, and the storefront prominently featured the company’s red mushroom-top signage.
Under another measure Oregon voters passed and that has been in effect since early 2021, misdemeanor drug possession – including psilocybin – can result in police issuing tickets with fines up to $100, but not an arrest.
In recent days, various government agencies have tried to figure out who should take responsibility for Shroom House.
The Portland Police Bureau said it was up to the Oregon Health Authority to handle the situation but added that its drug task force was aware of the business and looking into it. OHA said it was a law-enforcement matter.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said any seizure or arrests were within local law enforcement jurisdiction. The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office didn’t respond to questions about the retail store.
Two senior Multnomah County deputy district attorneys were at the scene Thursday morning when police raided the shop, a spokesperson confirmed. The office assisted police with acquiring a warrant for the investigation.
— Savannah Eadens; firstname.lastname@example.org; 503-221-6651; @savannaheadens