Kratom laws in the U.S. are constantly shifting at the state level. Recently, however, we’ve been seeing more movement at the federal level—both good and bad. On the one hand, there’s a legitimate push to get the Kratom Consumer Protection Act passed nationwide, which would be a game changer for Kratom quality and safety in the U.S. On the other hand, there are still ongoing efforts to restrict and even ban Kratom products. So what’s going on with the legal status of Kratom?
The Federal Government Has Its Eyes on Kratom
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has had its sights set on Kratom for years. In 2016, the DEA declared plans to classify Kratom as a Schedule I Controlled Substance. This effort was endorsed by the Department of Health and Human Services, though their endorsement was later rescinded. After 130,000 Kratom supporters petitioned the White House to oppose the potential Kratom ban and 51 lawmakers asked the DEA to reconsider their move, immediate efforts to schedule Kratom were scrapped—or at least put on hold.
The FDA, however, remained steadfast on restricting Kratom, going so far as to petition the World Health Organization to ban Kratom internationally. For its part, the WHO conducted its own research into Kratom and found no reason to ban Kratom. There just isn’t sufficient evidence to suggest that Kratom in its natural form is harmful. All-natural Kratom powders, Kratom capsules, and similar products may offer a number of benefits.
Rather than a Kratom ban, what we really need are Kratom laws designed to keep poor-quality Kratom out of the market and protect buyers. Some lawmakers are now trying to achieve just that.
A Federal Kratom Consumer Protection Act
In December, a landmark Kratom bill was filed in Congress by U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). The proposed legislation was also filed in the House of Representatives by Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI). The Protect Access to Kratom legislation was filed with the intention of bringing the popular Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) into federal law.
The KCPA is a set of safety and quality-control guidelines originally established by the American Kratom Association (AKA). In the past, the AKA has focused on enacting these regulations at the state level. States like Nevada, Utah, and Arizona have already enacted the KCPA.
The federal version of the KCPA would protect Kratom access, prevent the Department of Health & Human Services from restricting Kratom, and establish a task force to research Kratom and its effects. Unfortunately, the federal bill doesn’t go as far as the original KCPA (such as by imposing safety or labeling requirements), but it would be one major step in the right direction. The bill needs to be refiled in the next session of Congress, and we’ll provide any updates as they’re available.
Kratom Laws Are Evolving at the State Level
Kratom laws are also evolving at the state level. As it stands, Kratom is currently illegal in six states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. It’s also banned in Washington D.C. and in a few cities and counties nationwide.
As we speak, there are new Kratom laws being considered in several states.
- In Mississippi, legislators recently debated HB 364, which would schedule Kratom as a controlled substance. After fierce opposition, the bill died in committee at the end of January.
- Georgia legislators are currently considering HB 181, which would classify Kratom’s major alkaloids—mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine—as Schedule I Controlled Substances in the state.
- A bill similar to the Georgia bill is being considered in West Virginia. The WV Senate is considering legislation that would schedule Kratom alongside other products like delta-8 and delta-10 THC.
- Virginia recently rejected a bill that would have instituted the Kratom Consumer Protection Act within the state.
While the future of the federal KCPA is uncertain, a growing number of states are considering the legislation within their own borders. In Florida, for example, the KCPA just recently cleared its first House Committee.
Kratom Laws Should Emphasize Consumer Safety
In order to ensure a safe marketplace for all, the U.S. should enact Kratom laws that hold manufacturers responsible for the quality and safety of their products. That means no synthetic ingredients, independent lab testing, transparent labeling, and safe alkaloid levels. These are the hallmarks that set Kratom Gallery products apart within the market. The problem isn’t Kratom—the problem is a market without safeguards.
If you buy Kratom online or in stores, there are ways to ensure you’re getting premium quality. Only buy all-natural, lab-tested Kratom from trusted manufacturers. Read reviews, be a discerning shopper, and avoid any products that contain synthetic ingredients or additives. Also be careful to avoid Kratom scams. Kratom can be a hugely enriching experience, but until we see a federal Kratom Consumer Protection Act made law, it’s important to read those labels carefully.