If you’re new to kratom as a consumer you may have mixed feelings because of its muddied and misconstrued legal history. Used by millions of people Kratom has been a controversial topic for some years now, and in this guide we will cover the legal basics to purchasing kratom in the United States that you may consider.
Kratom is illegal to buy, sell, possess or use in:
Kratom is legal but regulated in states such as:
Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa is an evergreen tree that grows in Southeast Asia. Native people realized centuries ago this plant can be used in many different ways because it contains a range of compounds called alkaloids, which produce different desired effects based on dosage, ranging from boosts of energy and euphoric, well-being effects to analgesic and sedative effects.
In Indonesia, for example the most popular way of taking kratom often is by brewing it, like coffee (they’re related) into tea and drinking it however by nature, kratom is extremely bitter tasting. The most popular way of taking kratom here in the United States is by capsule, where ground kratom leaf is distributed into a vegetable capsule and taken like a prescribed pill or dietary supplement. These capsules have been around for over 10 years in the USA market but unfortunately most people have to take a large number of them for desired effects because the kratom is raw and contains low mitragynine levels. Kratom extract is a newer product, where kratom alkaloid levels are accurately dosed in each capsule, gummy or kratom product.
Due to its lack of clinical research, many political opportunities and parties have moved in a direction of demonizing kratom for one reason or another. Most research done on kratom in the United States is very recent, dating back to only 2012.
This is where the legal status of kratom has come into question numerous times over the years. The FDA is not a fan and has launched numerous campaigns to disturb or remove all together the current thriving kratom industry from North America for years.
In 2016 for example, under pressure from the FDA the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) attempted to schedule kratom as a schedule I illegal controlled substance. Any compounds in this category are deemed to have no medical use whatsoever and to have a very high abuse rate.
Approximately one year after the DEA announced its proposed ban on kratom, the department for Health and Human Services (HHS) constructed a response letter supporting the ban which led to massive public outcry. Scientists, federal lawmakers, doctors, consumers and kratom advocates from all over the country organized a march on the United States White House to show massive unified support for the plant.
Over 130,000 petition signatures were obtained condemning the ban and 51 sitting members of congress urged the DEA in an official letter to please listen to the public. Shortly thereafter the HHS and DEA rescinded their position on kratom, however the FDA still persists to this day. Recently they consulted the World Health Organization (WHO) to ban kratom globally, restricting international trade.
The KCPA was introduced as a law bill to legalize kratom permanently with strict standards on manufacturing and sales. The bill addresses the following categories in one way or another:
The overall purpose of the KCPA is to ensure customers are receiving a clean, pure and non-adulterated form of kratom when they are making a purchase. The bill would introduce fines and/or criminal charges for manufacturers that do not follow KCPA guidelines.
The KCPA is a certain set of base guidelines which helps the kratom industry as a whole however once adopted states have the option to include other factors important to them in the bill as well.
Basic guidelines in the bill are as follows:
As of writing this article, only four states have adopted the KCPA legislature.
When purchasing kratom, you need make a conscious decision to contribute to its positive movement, or feed the initiative that will get it banned. You want to make sure you are purchasing kratom from a trusted supplier who’s values are aligned with yours.
A few things to check on a vendor when purchasing kratom:
Keep in mind, it was users who really need kratom in the end that have kept this industry going, and with everyone’s help kratom advocates can overcome the great distrust that has been instilled in kratom for the past 10 years and move it forward, in respect to clinical trials, education and more.