The legal status of mitragyna speciosa, better known as kratom, has caused controversy across the nation.
Some have a steadfast belief in the healing aspects of the plant for promoting a sense of wellbeing and other things. Others are more critical of kratom for its supposed addictive qualities.
Put aside the controversy: is kratom legal in the United States?
Read on to find out.
Is Kratom Legal?
Kratom in the United States falls in a gray area.
Thanks to our federalist system of government and the power of the Constitution, states reserve the right to regulate beyond federal regulations. Federalism also applies down the line to the city and local ordinances.
To this day, the federal government hasn’t classified kratom as illegal.
So, states within the United States took initiative and established their own kratom laws and regulations.
For example, kratom may be legal in one state and illegal in another. It may legal in one state and illegal in a certain local county within the legal state.
It all depends on where you are at the time of either buying, selling, possessing, or wholesaling the herb. This might be a little confusing, we know.
If you can, just follow along with the best you can.
States That Have Banned Kratom
Since the federal government of the United States hasn’t banned kratom yet, some states took a stance and put their foot down.
The following six states have outright banned kratom in all of its forms:
- Rhode Island
In other states, kratom isn’t necessarily illegal, but states have regulations regarding buying, selling, possessing the herb.
Some states have also passed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.
What Is The Kratom Consumer Protection Act?
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) regulates kratom as it pertains to the health of consumers. This includes specifications on age limits, lab testing, product labeling, and fines.
In essence, KCPA regulates the entire process of manufacturing, distributing, and selling kratom products by setting kratom market standards.
While some states may not have banned kratom, they still hope to at least regulate the product that ends up in the consumers’ hands. Because the plant has not been studied widely, states play it safe and take extra precautions.
For example, some kratom manufacturers produce kratom products that contain heavy metals and other contaminants in them. Whether this practice is intentional or simply neglectful, it poses a serious health risk for the customer.
KCPA sets precedent for the regulation of kratom products that are sold on the market.
The act’s regulations force kratom vendors to meet all the requirements and standards of high-quality and safe kratom products.
It is worth noting that the following five states have passed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act:
Great news for the Oklahoma kratom advocates!
Oklahoma is officially the fifth state to pass the KCPA. The state recently passed the act in May 2021.
States Where Kratom Has Not Been Banned
To be clear, a lack of a kratom ban does not automatically mean that kratom is in the clear. We make this distinction to help you understand how states without a kratom ban have approached regulating kratom.
States Considering The Kratom Consumer Protection Act
These are the following states that are considering the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, or a version of it.
Specific language within each state’s proposed KCPA may differ, but the goal to regulate safe and high-quality kratom for consumers is the same.
- New York
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Please note that this list is true as of the date of publishing. States may or may not follow through with passing the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.
If you live in one of these states, consider giving your representatives a call to let them know where you stand on kratom laws in your state.
States With Known Kratom Restrictions
The following list contains states that have specified restrictions for kratom in some parts of the state. Or, the state is actively pushing for a kratom ban.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
We’ll explore what these restrictions or legislative efforts are in this next section.
The Specific Restrictions
Kratom in California is legal in all parts of the state besides San Diego, where a bill to ban kratom passed in 2016.
In Denver, Colorado, and in other towns throughout the state, kratom cannot be sold as a product for human consumption, or at all.
Sarasota, Florida banned sales of kratom throughout the city.
Hawaii looks to ban or restrict kratom sales.
Idaho has pending legislation on product labeling and vendor registration. The state is also in the process of penalizing sales to minors.
Overall, Illinois allows the sale of kratom to those over 18, except in some parts of the state.
Unsuccessful many times in the past, Kentucky is still looking to ban kratom.
Louisiana has pending legislation regarding the distribution of kratom in all forms.
Maryland looks to ban kratom.
Michigan looks to classify kratom as a Schedule II drug.
Minnesota considers the sale of kratom to minors as an offense.
Some cities and counties in Mississippi have a kratom ban.
New Hampshire allows the sale of kratom to those over 18, but there are some local bans on kratom.
New Jersey looks to ban kratom.
North Carolina allows the sale of kratom to those over 18.
Tennessee declared kratom legal only in its natural form. Kratom is legal for sale to those over 21.
Please note that this information is recent as of the date of publishing. Regulations and laws about kratom may change over time, especially for states with pending legislation in the works.
States Without Pending Legislation Against Kratom
Kratom is legal in the following states and there is no known legislation against kratom.
In other words, there are no legal consequences for the purchase of kratom for those of legal age.
For kratom vendors, it is legal to manufacture and sell kratom to those of legal age. This is so, only as long as vendors take quality control of their kratom products seriously.
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
D.C. has removed kratom from the list of banned substances as of 2016.
Please note that this list is true as of the date of publishing.
The Final Verdict
So, is kratom legal?
Despite the murky waters of kratom legislation that have left many confused and irritated, we hope this article has pointed you in the right direction. If you still aren’t sure, reach out to your state or local representative to clarify.
EZ Kratom is your trusted source on kratom news and kratom products. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible!