Mitragyna speciosa, also known as kratom, has been on the radar of the Federal Drug Administration for some time. Although kratom still remains not federally regulated in the United States, some states have taken measures to ban it.
Before you start your hunt for kratom in your state, it’s important to know where these kratom bans exist. Interestingly, even if the state allows it, some areas do not. Furthermore, what is the legal history of this interesting plant?
Like other products, kratom has faced significant controversy. Federally, kratom is legal in the United States. In 2016, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration announced its intent to schedule kratom. Listed as a schedule 1 substance, it would have been banned completely.
The DEA gave the public an opportunity to speak up and advocate for kratom. With an overwhelming response, they called their intent off and have not brought forth any more plans.
There are some states, cities, and municipalities that have decided to ban kratom. Over the years, some of those bans have been reversed to allow it.
In 2016, Governor Robert J. Bentley signed a bill that officially banned kratom throughout the entire state.
But it’s not the kratom that is illegal technically. Instead, the bills banned two of kratom’s most prevalent alkaloids, hydromitragynine, and mitragynine.
You can not buy, sell, or possess kratom in the state of Alabama. Doing so would end in felony charges.
Arkansas has banned kratom across the state. It is listed as a schedule 1 drug. You can not legally buy, sell, or possess the substance.
California does not have any laws regarding the regulation of kratom as a state. However, San Diego does have a ban on kratom, making it illegal to buy, sell, or possess. San Diego was following suit in 2016 when the DEA was making moves to list kratom as a schedule 1 drug.
The state of Colorado has no overarching regulations on kratom. There are several areas that have banned it in certain aspects.
In 2017, the City of Denver stated that it is legal to purchase and possess, but it must be labeled correctly. In 2019, the town of Parker banned kratom sales altogether. Shortly after, the town of Monument also banned sales.
Kratom is legal in Florida, with one exception. Sarasota County passed legislation in 2014, banning the ability to buy, sell, or possess kratom. If you get caught with kratom in Sarasota County, you could face up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
In the state of Illinois, Kratom is legal to buy, sell, or possess. There are four cities in the state where it is not. Those four cities are:
- Alton banned in 2018
- Edwardsville banned in 2020
- Glen Carbon banned in 2020
- Jerseyville banned in 2018
Because possession is illegal in these areas, it does not matter if you are traveling with kratom. No one may have it in these cities.
You must also be over the age of 18 in the state to buy or possess kratom. Selling to anyone under the age of 18 is a misdemeanor.
It is illegal to buy, sell, or possess Kratom in Indiana. In 2014, legislation was passed to ban it across the state with no exceptions. It is listed as a schedule 1 drug.
Kratom is still legal in New Hampshire except for Franklin City. However, there is a new bill that wants to enact a ban. In 2019, Franklin City banned kratom, making it the only New Hampshire area where it is illegal.
Note that you must be over the age of 18 to purchase or possess kratom in the state.
In 2017, Rhode Island criminalized hydromitragynine and mitragynine. This made the kratom illegal in the state. There are currently moves in the committee to reverse this decision and regulate it.
Technically, kratom is legal in Tennessee under certain circumstances. In 2018, Governor Bill Haslam passed a bill that made kratom illegal to sell kratom when it is not in its natural form or properly labeled.
Kratom must be labeled with disclaimers. Anyone who is under the age of 21 may not purchase or possess kratom.
Similar to Alabama, Vermont passed legislation banning two of the main substances found in kratom. This makes it illegal to buy, sell, or possess kratom in Vermont.
There seems to be a new bill introduced in February 2020 that looks to decriminalize kratom and other plants. Many states are seeing a push to do so.
In the spring of 2014, a bill was passed to ban mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. Just the same as Alabama and Vermont, this banned kratom throughout the state. It is now listed as a schedule 1 on the Wisconsin controlled substance act.
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act has gained some steam and has the potential to help decriminalize kratom in the state. Utah has already passed the act, making it the first to regulate kratom.
Know the Law on Kratom Bans
Being aware of what and where kratom bans exist will help keep you clear of any trouble. There are numerous different pushes being made to reverse many of the decisions to ban kratom. As more research and evidence comes out about the substance, we are likely to see a change in the controversy.
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