Which States Have Banned Kratom?
This article was written May 30, 2018, with as up-to-date information as possible.
Kratom has had a rocky time of it these past few years. Previously enjoying federal disregard due to its fairly underground status, the Southeast Asian plant swooped into the public eye in 2016 to both positive and negative results: in the pro list, more people who could benefit from its all-natural, healing benefits found out about kratom. The con: the DEA and FDA decided to wage war against it.
So, as of mid-2018, where exactly does kratom stand?
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Legal Kratom in the US
Federally, kratom remains a legal substance. The DEA and FDA still want to place the plant on the Schedule 1 list along with heroin, cocaine and marijuana as a substance with no proven medical benefits. But we’ve already seen the joke that statement has become in the fight for marijuana legalization.
With a few exceptions, kratom remains legal and available throughout the country. This means it can be sold in practically any store, bought and possessed without legal issue, and consumed as the owner sees fit.
The Most Pro-Kratom State
Though it’s unlikely any legislators would wave their hands for this honor, we’re inclined to bestow it upon Louisiana. This southern state actually amended a house bill that would have resulted in the banning of kratom – they changed the wording to remove 7-HMG from the list, keeping kratom legal. This amendment came about thanks to the hard work of advocacy groups in the state.
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States Where Kratom is Banned
Seven states have banned kratom outright – meaning possession of the plant in any form is not permitted. Because of this, Original Harvest is unfortunately unable to deliver kratom to these states. Here are the details:
- Alabama: Kratom was placed on a statewide Schedule 1 list by Senate Bill 226 way back in May, 2016
- Arkansas: The state wasted no time banning kratom, adding its two primary alkaloids to the controlled substance list in February, 2016. Rather than going through a regular legislative process, though, the Health Department director added it to the list in what is called a Bureaucratic Process. Of you check out the document, you might raise an eyebrow, as we did, to this note: under the subhead “Controversy” is written “This is not expected to be controversial”. Their assumption isn’t unfounded, however, as the document also states no public comments were received following a public hearing prior to scheduling.
- Indiana: Senate Bill 0305 initially labelled kratom as a “synthetic drug” and placed it on their synthetic controlled substances list. The list was later amended to read “A substance containing…”, however, and mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine remain.
- Rhode Island: In April, 2017, the state added kratom’s two primary alkaloids to the list in their Controlled Substances Act.
- Vermont: 7-hydroxymitragynine is classified as a regulated drug, which means kratom is banned in this state.
- Washington, D.C.: Likewise, 7-HMG is listed as Schedule 1 controlled substance in the nation’s capital. It’s considered an “unclassified novel psychoactive substance.”
- Wisconsin: Both mitragynine and 7-HMG are considered Schedule 1 compounds in the Badger State.
States with Singular Exceptions
In addition to the states with very clear prohibitions in place, there are some other regions where the laws apply only to a city or county within the state:
- In Florida, Sarasota County is the only region where kratom has been banned.
- In California, kratom is prohibited in San Diego, alone.
- In Colorado, Denver has passed a “not for human consumption” law that requires all kratom be labelled as such and all dosing information be removed. All Original Harvest products are so labelled, so residents of Denver can feel free to order from us!
- Jerseyville and Alton, Illinois have made kratom illegal. More on their pending legislation, below.
- The city of Ontario in Oregon has banned kratom.
- Union County, Mississippi has made kratom illegal.
Pending Kratom Legislation in the USA
In addition to all these varying laws (kratom is neck in neck with cannabis for the title of Most Confusing Legislation), a number of states have put bills in motion that, depending on the whims of senate committees, could sign kratom’s death warrant and inconvenience (or seriously harm) many patients relying on the supplement.
- West Virginia: a whopping four bills that call out kratom were under consideration as of early 2018.
- Tennessee: This state seems to get the most media attention for its confusing kratom laws, which were just recently clarified to “make it illegal to sell kratom unless it is in natural form and labelled”. Possession by those under 21 is also forbidden. Learn more.
- Oregon: In early 2017, Senate Bill 518 required the State Board of Pharmacy to begin studying kratom with the aim of determining which compounds within it should be banned.
- New York: Various amendments were introduced last year and are under review. If passed, kratom could be banned.
- New Jersey: In February, AB2685 was introduced. If accepted, anyone carrying kratom would face imprisonment and a hefty fine. Advocates need to step in, here!
- Illinois: An amendment to make possession and purchase illegal has been put forward. Kratom is already forbidden for minors.
- Georgia: In March, resolutions were set up to create the “Joint Study Committee on Risks Associated with Kratom”.
Phew! That’s a lot of potential legislation to keep up with!
We Want Better Kratom Regulations
While widespread availability sounds like a great deal to people who already know how to use kratom, there is a drawback to this kind of full access – regulations don’t keep kratom out of the hands of those who need it, but they also don’t ensure only safe products are reaching those hands.
Most sellers and users of kratom would like to see some kind of regulation that ensures kratom suppliers and vendors must have their strains lab-tested (and Original Harvest does this). The salmonella outbreak a few months ago is just one clear example of why this is important – not only did people get sick from affected product (thank goodness no one died), but the whole situation gave existing opponents one more reason to argue against kratom’s legality. We don’t need to give them more fodder than they already have!
Another issue with zero regulation on kratom is that until more extensive testing and research is conducted (which is unlikely with legality on such unstable ground) and some kind of food-safe approval obtained, suppliers are not allowed to cite recommended dosages or even explicitly state the benefits of their strains. Because of this, patients are left largely to their own devices, experimenting with different strains and sharing the information between themselves.
Want to help make a difference and improve both access to kratom and the lives of those who use it? Check out the American Kratom Association – they always have lots of helpful information available.
And don’t forget to check out our own extensive supply of premium organic, lab-tested, and 100% pure kratom powders, leaf, and capsules – we carry more than 50 unique strains!