Current Affairs

Are Magic Mushrooms Legal in Nepal?

Written by Robert Hammell

Though psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms, is classified as an illegal substance in most countries, there are a few areas where that is not the case. Nepal is one country where magic mushrooms grow naturally, and have become a valuable part of their
cultural identity.[1] Because of this, psilocybin mushrooms are legal there, but it is not always so easy to find them.


The Cultural Significance of Mushrooms
Nepal is a mountainous country, which makes agriculture challenging. With lower oxygen content, limited arable land, and access to irrigation techniques, the Nepalese people have to rely on a different food source than those provided by traditional agriculture. Enter: the mushroom. The fantastic fungus is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and nutritious, but can grow in very low, or even no soil environments.[2] There are more than 1126 species of mushrooms that are native to Nepal, and it makes up a significant portion of the Nepalese diet in lieu of traditional crops. [3] Magic Mushrooms, however, do not possess cultural significance outside of mushroom cultivation in general.

Magic Mushroom Markets in Nepal

Though magic mushrooms are legal, they are not sold openly in stores or markets. The magic mushroom trade, from cultivation to sales, is entirely informal. This means that while psilocybin mushrooms are legal in Nepal, it is not something that is regulated or actively pursued as an economic strategy within the country.[4] Mushrooms are significant to the Nepalese people, and magic mushrooms fall within that umbrella. Because of this, the national government sees no need to regulate them as a distinct product, making tourists the primary consumers of magic mushrooms within Nepal.


Reference List
1. Nepalese Government. (1986, November 8). Drugs Category Rules, 2043(1986). Nepal Gazette. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from

2. Health Benefits of Mushrooms. (2020, September 22). WebMD.

3. Pandey, N., Devkota, S., Christensen, M., & Budathoki, U. (2007b). Use of Wild Mushrooms among the Tamangs of Nepal. Nepal Journal of Science and Technology, 7, 97.

4. Upadhaya, N., Jordans, M.J.D., Gurung, D. et al. Psychotropic drugs in Nepal: perceptions on use and supply chain management. Global Health 14, 10 (2018).

About the author

Robert Hammell