Kratom is a plant that is native to Southeast Asia whose leaves have become a hot commodity. It has been used for centuries in traditional societies for a variety of purposes, including for rituals and socializing, to aid in relaxation, and to enhance productivity. In recent years, Kratom has become increasingly popular in the United States as part of the herbal and natural products boom.
However, Kratom is also a controversial and stigmatized substance. Some people believe that it is safe and effective, while others believe that it is addictive and dangerous. As a result, there is currently a lot of debate about how Kratom should be regulated.
In this blog post, we will discuss the current state of Kratom regulation in the United States. We will also explore the history of US Kratom laws, and we will discuss the arguments for and against regulating Kratom.
At the federal level, Kratom is currently not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that Kratom is not approved for any medical use, and it is not subject to the same safety and quality standards as other over-the-counter or prescription medications.
Current State of Kratom Regulation in the US
Some states have taken steps to regulate Kratom, and state laws that regulate Kratom vary widely. Eleven states have approved Kratom laws under some version of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), which requires Kratom companies to comply with quality assurance standards in their products and marketing. Some states have banned Kratom outright, while others have only banned its sale to minors.
Reasonable regulation in the form of the KCPA has been proposed in dozens of states since 2019. This type of regulation is supported by responsible industry players along with the American Kratom Association and countless consumers and advocates. It includes mandatory third-party lab testing of Kratom products and other safeguards around manufacturing and sanitation practices.
States that have passed or adopted the KCPA include: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
As of 2023, just five states have banned Kratom and/or its alkaloids: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Several of these states are considering reversing or amending their bans with the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, especially now that the ban in Vermont was rescinded in March of this year.
Proponents & Opponents of Regulation
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act has been well received on both sides of the aisle in legislatures across the company. Unlike most issues these days, the KCPA is nonpartisan: both blue states and red states see the benefits of enacting laws that ensure the quality of natural products.
Efforts to regulate have been driven largely by the Kratom industry itself. These companies care about their customers. They are willing to go the extra mile to make sure their facilities and procedures are in line with best practices and industry standards. Kratom vendors who are opposed to regulation should be avoided – why wouldn’t you support laws that keep your customers safe?
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act would not be where it is without Kratom consumers. Those who benefit from this product have the most compelling stories for lawmakers to consider and often speak movingly about the impact Kratom has had on their lives. By putting a face to the KCPA, these consumers keep the industry moving forward. They are the true heroes of this movement!
The FDA has so far been strictly opposed to regulating Kratom in any form, even as a food or as a supplement. They continue to spread the message that Kratom should be avoided and have not tried to partner with states to appropriately regulate Kratom products.
The Future of Kratom Regulation
Legislative sessions in 2023 have brought a lot of momentum to Kratom regulation. Four new states passed KCPA bills: Florida, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Ban bills were proposed in Montana and Louisiana, but both were stopped by with help from grassroots actions and testimony from consumers. Vermont’s Department of Health reversed its ban on the product by removing Kratom from the state’s list of controlled substances.
These wins bode well for the future of Kratom regulation in the US. Advocates expect more states to follow suit with versions of the protection act next year, and they have their eyes on an even bigger prize. A federal version of the KCPA was introduced in 2022. If passed, this important legislation would protect Kratom and Kratom consumers nationwide. This effort will no doubt gain traction as more lawmakers become educated about Kratom and the need for a safe supply chain for consumers.
The debate over Kratom regulation is sure to continue for some time. As more research is conducted on Kratom, we will likely learn more about its potential risks and benefits. This information will be important in making informed decisions about how to regulate Kratom in the United States.
For now, you can vote with your dollars by only buying from vendors who comply with regulations around good manufacturing practices and consumer protection. The team at Phytoextractum, one of the first online Kratom vendors, have been advocates since the beginning. They have long supported sensible regulations for the industry and worked for years to help pass the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in Oregon. When you buy Kratom at Phytoextractum, you can be sure you’re getting quality, lab tested products that comply with all regulations and that a portion of your purchase goes to Kratom advocacy.