Over the past decade, Kratom has taken a front seat in the discussion on legalization, and the relationship with the FDA & DEA has been somewhat turbulent. Kratom laws truly do vary on a state level, so we put together this guide to help you better understand if Kratom is legal in your area, and also to learn more about how we’ve ended up where we are today.
On the federal level, Kratom is legal, without question. Back in 2016, the DEA intended on making Kratom a schedule I narcotic, but they later withdrew this attempt. Prior to 2016, the FDA and DEA both regulated Kratom as an herbal product. When the DEA announced their intention, they were met with resistance by a massive community of people whose lives have been changed in a positive way because of this plant.
Why did the FDA get involved here? Well, we’ve got the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to thank for that. In 2017, HHS wrote a letter to the DEA, yet
again recommending a Kratom ban, and proposing both compounds of the plant be classified as schedule I substances — you know, up there with LSD & Heroin. This would completely change the lives of those who regularly use Kratom, and it would severely hinder the amount of research that we’re able to put into these compounds. Such research could be hugely beneficial in creating alternatives to dangerous prescriptions on the market today. Instead, we’re facing more stringent Kratom Laws that will be very difficult to fight.
Back to this HHS letter — So, once the DEA receives this letter, they make contact with the FDA for guidance on regulation. This, in turn, really kickstarts the FDA’s anti-kratom campaign, in which FDA Commissioner classifies Kratom as an opioid, and implies that the plant is connected to dozens of deaths. Shortly thereafter, the members of the American Kratom Association, along with nine scientists, deliver a letter asking House & Senate leaders to work with the FDA to appropriately regulate Kratom, rather than classifying it as a schedule I substance.
There needs to be more research done on this plant, that’s something that we think everyone in the community can agree on. This is exactly what the AKA & scientific community was asking for. Rather than inappropriately ban a plant that has served so many in such a positive way, we want to see proper scientific research and review done. It’s going to take time, and so we want to make sure the Kratom community is still able to safely purchase high quality products. Banning the products altogether is not the solution here, that’s for sure. As of right now, the AKA is still fighting for a chance to sit down with the FDA and discuss the future of Kratom together. You can keep track of Kratom laws & that FDA meeting (or their lack of acknowledgement to have the meeting, rather) on the AKA’s website.
The American Kratom Association has also spent a lot of time creating the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, which would allow customers to continue purchasing Kratom legally, but it also pushes to ban sales on unregulated and unsafe products. This legislation is being considered on a state-level, so it’s good to be aware of laws in your state specifically before making a purchase.
Currently, Kratom is legal in almost all states, with the exception of the following:
As we’d noted, you’ll want to keep in mind that there are certain states and municipalities that have created their own regulations, so it’s best to do additional research to be confident on Kratom laws in your area. Overall, there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding the plant, so extensive research will be of benefit to you. The American Kratom Association offers a wealth of information that is kept up to date on a regular basis.
On an international level, Kratom laws vary even further. Some countries actually don’t have regulations or laws surrounding Kratom at all. In countries like the United Kingdom & Italy for example, the Kratom laws will vary by city. Over time, as people share their experiences with kratom around the world, many countries will likely update their regulations accordingly.
Southeast Asia in particular, Kratom’s homeland, has been subject to a lot of back and forth in decision making surrounding the plant. Thailand has considered legalization many, many times. Since 1943, Kratom has been illegal despite its rich history in the country. In 2018, they officially legalized Kratom for medicinal purposes, in passing the Narcotic Act. This was a huge win for Thailand, and it’s progress for the United States Kratom community, without a doubt.
So now that you know the history of Kratom legalization, what’s next for you? If you’re looking to contribute to the conversation going on in the US right now, your best bet would be to check out the American Kratom Association’s advocacy section on their website. They engage with politicians, the media, and academia on a regular basis and will know better than anyone where your help is needed most.
We need to share more of the right information in our communities to make sure people really understand the value that Kratom can bring. If you have any other valuable insight surrounding Kratom laws, reach out to us! The conversation needs to continue and we’re here to be a part of it. Every contribution is impactful for Kratom law!
If you’ve done sufficient research and you’re ready to start shopping, browse our collection of high quality Kratom products today. Happy shopping!
***This is for informational purposes only. The Clearview Harvest team does not offer legal advice. We expect our community to do thorough research on the topic of Kratom’s legal status.