Health Canada denies terminally-ill Saskatoon man’s ‘magic mushroom’ treatment

In 2020, Health Canada granted Hartle an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to use psilocybin therapy for one year. He was the first person in Canada to receive an exemption.

The psychedelic-assisted therapy helped ease Hartle’s anxieties about dying.

“It really turned down the volume on all of that noise and chatter that I had in my head,” Hartle tells CTV News.

Finding success in the treatment, Hartle applied to extend his exemption and continue accessing the drug.

After 511 days, Hartle heard back from Health Canada. The federal agency said it intended to deny his request.

“Why would they wait so very long when they’re very well aware of how terminal cancer usually goes? It seems particularly cruel. From my perspective, it sort of feels like they were waiting for me to die and stop being a problem for them,” Hartle says.

“The part that strikes me as kind of crazy is that I have had access to this therapy and it has been extremely effective for me. It is literally the only thing that has successfully helped with my end-of-life anxiety. I’m not experimenting or trying to find an answer for this. I already have the answer and I know what works. I just want safe, legal access to it.”

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