Are Mushrooms L.A.’s Next Medicinal Growth Industry?

As the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday cracked down on a burgeoning medical-marijuana retail scene that might or might not have inspired a sprawling residential “grow-house” industry, authorities in Lake Los Angeles busted a rare grow house for psychedelic mushrooms.

Deputies were called to the home in the 40500 block of 159th Street East about 1:30 p.m. Monday after neighbors complained of trespassing at what they believed was a vacant home, Lancaster sheriff’s Sgt. Slade Carrizosa said. Authorities said they found a man and a woman growing the psilocybin mushrooms and stealing electricity as part of the operation.

Joseph Scott Jackson, 37, and Angela Coffey, 41, were arrested and were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. Because of the spores growing in the home, a hazardous-materials team was called in for clean-up.

Authorities said that powerful, electricity-sapping grow lights are not necessary to cultivate mushrooms, and none were found at the three- or four-bedroom home. This could make mushroom cultivation more lucrative, as law enforcers often look at anomalously high power bills to investigate marijuana grow houses.

So are mushrooms the next big thing, or simply a bell-bottom-era fungus among us?

[Get a culinary take on magic mushrooms at Squid Ink].


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