Kratom is increasingly popular throughout the United States, but it’s also caused a lot of controversy. Many states, or even cities and counties within states, have banned or restricted kratom. As such, it’s important to know whether kratom is legal in your area. For instance, is kratom legal in Ohio?
The short answer is that, yes, kratom is legal in Ohio. But the story isn’t quite so simple.
Ohio has a history of attempts to ban kratom by registering it as a controlled substance. And while those attempts have been dropped, kratom consumers in Ohio should still be wary.
Here’s what you need to know.
Local Restriction: Is Kratom Legal in Ohio’s Cities and Counties?
Kratom is legal for sale, purchase, and use throughout all of Ohio. No cities or counties in Ohio have imposed individual bans.
However, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has recommended banning kratom.
Moreover, even though kratom is legal in Ohio, several restrictions exist on its sale and use throughout the state.
Ohio’s Restrictions on Kratom Use and Sale
There are also several restrictions on how kratom can be sold and marketed. For instance:
- Kratom cannot be labeled as “safe for human consumption”, as the FDA has not fully approved its use.
- Kratom “infused” products may not be legally sold and have resulted in several raids and seizures (more on that below).
- “Consumable” forms of kratom such as capsules are of suspect legality, and only pure kratom powder is generally considered completely legal.
So despite the fact that kratom is legal in Ohio, kratom users should be wary of certain products. As always, be sure to shop only from reputable kratom vendors that can prove the purity and quality of their products.
Ohio’s Attempted Kratom Ban
In March 2019, the Board voted to reclassify kratom as a Schedule 1 substance, putting it on the same level as cocaine, heroin, and other “hard” drugs. This would have outlawed kratom possession, with small amounts as a misdemeanor and large quantities as a felony.
Shortly after, the American Kratom Association began working to overturn the decision. They organized a public outreach campaign, resulting in thousands of mail-in testimonials and nearly a hundred in-person speakers sharing their positive experiences with kratom.
Thankfully for Ohio kratom users, the efforts worked. In August 2019, the Scheduling was officially delayed, though not officially canceled.
No further attempts to outlaw kratom have been pursued in Ohio. Moreover, there is currently no indication that Ohio will renew its attempted ban.
All the same, kratom consumers and advocates should be on alert.
Ohio occasionally raids kratom vendors and seizes supposedly “adulterated” products. Although Ohio does not make their definition of adulterated kratom clear, they have seized at least the following products:
- Kratom capsules
- Kratom edibles
- Kratom beverages
As such, kratom powder seems to be the only kratom product that is truly legal in Ohio, even though no official ban has been passed.
Which States Have Banned Kratom?
Kratom is legal throughout Ohio but with several meaningful restrictions.
However, other states have imposed their own kratom bans. Currently, the states that have outright banned kratom are as follows:
- Alabama classified kratom’s primary alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine, as Schedule I narcotics in May 2016. This likens kratom to substances like ecstasy and heroin, an unjust misclassification.
- Arkansas banned kratom in February of 2016. In 2017, state medical examiners incorrectly stated that kratom’s alkaloids are derived from opium. It is unlikely we’ll see the Arkansas kratom ban lifted soon.
- Indiana outlawed kratom in 2014 but incorrectly listed the botanical as a synthetic cannabinoid. The legislature later amended their language, classifying kratom as a hallucinogenic substance, another misclassification.
- Rhode Island banned kratom’s alkaloids in 2017. Due to public outcry in other states, Rhode Island’s ban occurred in secret, confusing both residents and law officials. The state will vote on a measure to reverse the ban on September 1st, 2021.
- Vermont banned kratom’s alkaloids in 2016, but they were improperly classified as “synthetic drugs.” In January of 2020, lawmakers filed a bill to decriminalize kratom products, but kratom’s future is still uncertain in the state.
- Wisconsin banned kratom’s alkaloids in 2014, incorrectly associating kratom with both synthetic cannabinoids and hallucinogenic drugs. In 2019, lawmakers held informational meetings with the American Kratom Association (AKA), a step in the right direction.
But, just like Ohio, several states have imposed restrictions on kratom. Even more, some states’ counties have imposed their own local bans. These states include California, Illinois, and New Hampshire.
For the rest of the United States, kratom remains a safe, legal, and accessible option for users to buy kratom at their convenience and to take control of their health and wellness.