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Kratom Legality: Regulating Kratom in 2023

Kratom Legality Update

Is kratom legal in your area? It’s an important question! The short answer? Probably. Kratom is legal throughout the vast majority of the US, with no federal laws pending to list it as a controlled substance or otherwise ban it.

Some states have limited kratom’s availability or even outright banned it, so it’s important to check kratom legality in your local jurisdiction.

Even more, it’s important to stay updated, as kratom legality comes under threat time and time again. As we move into 2023 and beyond, several new threats to legal kratom products, attempted kratom bans, and new regulations on kratom processors emerge.

Here’s a run-down of recent legislative efforts that affect kratom users and kratom vendors alike — and generally, the news is good. 2022 primarily saw attempts to establish quality and purity standards for kratom products, and regulations of this sort protect consumers and reputable vendors alike.

Colorado Kratom Regulation, Senate Bill 22-120 Passed

One major development in 2022 was Colorado’s passage of Senate Bill 22-120 (SB22-120). The Bill passed with bipartisan support and, in short, is good news for the safety of kratom consumers and the future of legal kratom in Colorado.

SB22-120 sets strict requirements on the quality and purity of kratom products sold in Colorado, establishes a minimum age of 21 years for kratom purchasers, and sets various other restrictions for kratom vendors. It’s a victory for kratom that will help to legitimize kratom products, keep kratom safe, and ensure that this botanical is legal and effective moving forward.

Oregon Kratom Regulation, House Bill 4010 Passed

Oregon passed another Bill similar to Colorado’s, named House Bill 4010 (HB4010). The Bill passed in March of 2010, and it sets age requirements and requires registration of kratom vendors with the state.

HB4010 sets fairly moderate standards for kratom vendors. The most visible requirement is that Oregon kratom will now only be legally available to persons aged 21+. Beyond that, the Bill requires that all kratom manufacturers register with the state and prohibits vendors from selling any kratom products from unregistered manufacturers.

The Bill does not explicitly set quality and purity standards, but it is likely that the required registration with Oregon registries will involve some checks on product quality.

Pennsylvania Kratom Regulation, House Bill 2357 Passed

Pennsylvania introduced House Bill 2367 (HB2357), which had a long and somewhat complicated trajectory before being significantly amended and, ultimately, passed into law.

The Bill as it was originally drafted established a minimum age of 21 and prohibited kratom products being manufactured with a specifically-named set of contaminants. The listed contaminants were almost exclusively controlled substances — which, as they were already illegal, made the prohibition redundant.

HB2357 was significantly amended and its restrictions lightened. The age requirement was reduced to 18+, and all of the language on contaminant prohibition was removed. This revised version of the Bill was passed in June 2022 with near unanimous support.

Missouri Kratom Regulation, House Bill 1667 Vetoed

Missouri also attempted to pass its own set of kratom regulations under House Bill 1667 (HB1667). The Bill would have established quality standards and regulations protecting kratom consumers from adulterated products, but the Bill was vetoed.

Although the Bill passed both chambers of Missouri legislators, Governor Mike Parson vetoed the bill, effectively killing it. Parson cited FDA’s continued opposition to kratom as his primary reason for vetoing the Bill — highlighting yet again why the education and outreach efforts of groups like the American Kratom Association are so vitally important to the future of legal kratom.

Kentucky Kratom Regulation, House Bill 569 Failed

Kentucky attempted to pass House Bill 569 (HB569), but the regulation failed after being recommitted to Appropriations and Revenue.

Similar to the bills discussed above, HB569 would have implemented both an age requirement of 21 years+ and stringent quality and purity requirements for the sale of kratom products within Kentucky.

The failure of this bill is a setback for kratom that keeps the door open for disreputable vendors and impure products — but discussions for further regulation in Kentucky continue to take place.

Wisconsin Kratom Remains Illegal, Assembly Bill 599 Failed

Wisconsin attempted to pass a bill that would effectively legalize kratom and restrict it to persons aged 21+, known as Assembly Bill 599 (AB599).

Kratom has been illegal in Wisconsin since 2014, when a bill that lumped it together with marijuana passed. AB599 would have overturned this ban, but unfortunately failed to pass.

Wisconsin is expected to revisit the issue of kratom’s legal classification in early 2023; for now, however, the future of kratom legality in Wisconsin remains murky.