Kratom is legal in the United States, and people from all over the country use this substance daily. Despite unapproved by the regulatory authorities, Kratom is still legal under federal law. However, laws are different at the state level, and there is a possibility that various states exercise their own rules or regulations about kratom.
While the current status of kratom remains in a gray area, the FDA continues to debate whether Mitragyna speciosa should be legal or not in the US. Simultaneously, many states continue to approve or ponder upon regulating kratom products for residents.
States with legal status, no pending legislation
Most states in the United States allow kratom usage. This section lists the states that have allowed the possession, trade, and consumption of kratom. Most of the kratom production units and manufacturing facilities are also located in these states.
These states include:
- California: Except for San Diego, kratom is legal all over the state.
- Nevada: The state is famous for fun, gambling, nightlife, Las Vegas casinos, and the parties. The state laws are lenient, and kratom is legal. In 2019, Nevada passed the kratom Consumer Protection Act, which allows the consumption of this substance for adults. You can read more about it here.
- Arizona: Kratom is legal in the state but prohibited for people under the age of 18. The Senate is considering the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.
- Oregon: Kratom is legal in Oregon. AKA has filed the consumer protection act. Oregon is home to many kratom product manufacturers as well.
- New Hampshire: Only people above the age of 18 can use kratom in the state.
- Florida: Ketum remains legal in the state except in Sarasota County.
- Michigan: Kratom is legal in Michigan, although the police department recently issued a warning about the side effects of kratom in May 2019.
- Idaho: Kratom is legal in Idaho. Users can possess, buy, sell, and use the substance.
- Missouri: The state allows usage of kratom. The KCPA act mentioned above has also filed but awaits a hearing.
- Georgia: The Kratom Consumer Protection Act was implemented in Georgia as well. The bill was passed in the House and was finally signed by the governor. There was no opposition in the House for this bill.
- Ohio: Mitragyna speciosa remains legal in the state. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy requested a ban, and the consumer act was also filed. However, the ban was delayed, and the substance is allowed in the state.
- Kansas: Kratom is legal in Kansas, while the state awaits decision on Kratom Consumer Protection Act.
- Washington: Kratom remains legal in the state.
- Montana: Lawmakers allow usage of kratom in Montana.
- Wyoming: Mitragyna is legal in Wyoming.
- New Mexico: State laws allow the use of kratom.
- Nebraska: Kratom is permitted in the state.
- Texas: The state laws allow the use of kratom.
- North Dakota: Kratom is permitted in the state.
- South Dakota: Kratom is allowed.
- Missouri: Ketum is legal according to state laws.
- South Carolina: State laws allow the use of ketum.
- Virginia: The state of Virginia has legalized the use of kratom.
- Pennsylvania: Kratom is legal.
- Delaware: Delaware law allows the use of kratom.
- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Alaska, and Hawaii also allow the use of kratom.
States with kratom pending legislation
States with pending legislations are the ones where kratom was illegal but there is some pending legal motion to lift the ban or legalize kratom consumption. All the states that await any judicial decision regarding the status of kratom legality are as follows:
- Rhode Island: Kratom consumption is illegal in the state; however, a bill for lifting the ban is still pending. Simultaneously a law was passed to regulate the distribution of kratom products in the state.
- Maryland: Hearing for prohibiting the use of kratom for people under the age of 18 was canceled. Kratom remains legal, but there are pending restrictions in the House. https://legiscan.com/MD/bill/SB147/2020
- Arkansas: Initially, kratom was allowed in the state, but in February 2016, it was declared a controlled substance. However, the governor of the state requested the health department to meet with kratom scientists to consider withdrawing the ban.
States Where Kratom Remains Illegal
All the states where kratom consumption or purchase or even cultivation is prohibited are called ‘banned states.’ If you live in any of these states, you cannot possess or use Mitragyna speciosa.
- Alabama: Kratom is a Schedule 1 drug in the state as of May 2016.
- Illinois: Kratom sale is banned to people under the age of 18. Jerseyville is the only city in the state where kratom is banned.
- Wisconsin: In this state, the alkaloid Mitragynine is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Therefore, illegal to possess and trade Kratom products.
- Tennessee: Defines kratom as a controlled substance and has banned the use of this organic substance. Mitragyna is not available for sale, use, or even growing.
- Indiana: The state bans kratom as a synthetic drug. This state is among the few that have never allowed the use of Mitragyna products. Otherwise, several states had banned the substance but now are considering letting it, or have declared it legal.
The FDA’s Stance on Kratom Products
Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to use Mitragyna products as this substance interacts with receptors in the brain and behaves like opioids such as heroin.
In 2012, the FDA added kratom on an import alert and named it ‘unapproved.’ This action was repeated in 2014 regarding supplements containing ketum.
Later in 2016, the FDA requested U.S Marshals to seize raw kratom from manufacturers in California and Illinois. Since these events, potential users have also become doubtful and do not buy kratom unless they find acquaintances who use this substance and see good results!
Recent Actions That Threaten Kratom Legalization In The USA
Ever since the kratom introduced in the United States, there have been many events that led to temporary bans or demands for more regulation. While federal law remains constant, many states have changed their stance regarding Mitagyna key alkaloids. Here’s a recap of all the movements and bill proposals in the past decade:
- In March 2020, the lawmakers in Oklahoma decided to regulate kratom. The bill was proposed last month in Oklahoma House to regulate the organic substance.
- In the endeavor to make kratom products safer for citizens, the Missouri House passed a bill to increase the regulation of Speciosa Mitragyna. Manufacturers and users welcomed this proposal as it ensured more reliable and hygienic products for sale. This step was taken in February 2020 and awaits the approval of the senate. The bill emphasized that sellers have to guarantee products free from adulteration and contamination. This bill came in the wake of a few medical emergencies reported due to consumption of poor-quality kratom.
- In January 2020, Maryland demanded stringent regulation for Speciosa Mitragyna. Besides, it was demanded that kratom should be categorized as a controlled substance due to its affinity to heroin. However, there was strong opposition to this bill, as numerous members believe that kratom can be an effective analgesic and anti-depressant.
- As we reverse further into last year, Ohio delayed the bill proposing regulation of kratom products in the state. The state regulators delayed the law due to an outpour of ketum users who support the herbal supplement.
- The Ohio Board of Pharmacy decided to ban this botanical, but they did not proceed due to the reaction of the people. However, instead of prohibiting kratom, the House passed a bill to regulate kratom products so that there is no event of adverse side effects in people due to the consumption of the contaminated or expired substance.
- In July 2019, legislation to ban the sale of kratom to minors was announced. This legislation came after a review of children using kratom for pleasure without understanding the side effects of the substance. New York senate also suggested more research to identify the potential benefits and damages from kratom.
- Oregon lawmakers decided to halt all regulations on kratom products in June 2019. This halt followed the Senate Judiciary Committee’s bill for rules and restrictions on kratom usage in the state. The Joint Ways and Means Committee reversed this action and removed all references to kratom in the bill. This step was due to several senators were in favor of kratom usage. They said that this organic substance has significant health benefits for general wellness.
- Before 2019, there were many raids conducted by the FDA to stop the sale of kratom. An outbreak of Salmonella in Oregon in 2018 led to the manufacturer recalling kratom products since they were contaminated. This event caused an alarm and kratom became a questionable substance in the state.
- Similar steps were taken after the Salmonella outbreak in Texas. The same measures were taken to avoid the Salmonella outbreak in Las Vegas in 2018.
The American Kratom Association (AKA) Efforts to Legalize Kratom
The AKA has always worked to safeguard the usage of kratom without any threat to users. The organization work for the well-being and safety of users as well as kratom suppliers. AKA aims to advocate people while ensuring safety in manufacturing as well as dosage.
AKA also aims to promote kratom benefits and avoid any unnecessary rules or regulations on the use of this organic substance.
In 2020, the AKA aims to get approval for the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in at least 21 more states. This action requires filing bills so that during legislative sessions, the bill can be moved for approval. The four states where KCPA passed are: