The rise of Kratom has been of great benefit to anyone familiar with the powerful and potent effects of this plant. But its popularity does not directly correlate with widespread acceptance – especially when looked at from a legal standpoint. There are many locations where Kratom is fully legal but others where you need to be aware of any and all restrictions currently in place.
Let’s dive into a look at the current regulations in the US regarding Kratom legality so you can stay informed and understand how to get access to the plant and its many products.
A brief background on Kratom
Kratom, formally known as Mitragyna Speciosa, comes from the mitragynine tree originating in Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand. While its uses and side effects from human consumption are skill being studied, it’s been lauded as a way to reduce opioid dependency, relieve pain, and more.
Current Legality of Kratom in the United States
Currently, there are no exact laws by the Federal government or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in relation to Kratom use or possession in the United States. There are, however, restrictions and regulations in place on certain state and local levels. Without direction from a centralized location, these regulations that do exist can vary widely from location to location within the country. It’s important to know and understand the regulations in your particular region.
Since there is no one legal entity monitoring and enforcing Kratom in the US, it is technically not regulated. There have been whispers that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may take the steps towards making Kratom’s legal status a controlled substance on a federal level, but so far, it remains under the discretion of state and local governments to create their own rules regarding the use of the plant and its products.
Many people use Kratom in the US for its wide variety of effects that range from energizing and mood-enhancing properties to calming and sedative benefits such as pain relief. It is typically grown in Southeast Asia or other tropical environments and then shipped to consumers in the US. There is often confusion over whether Kratom is legal in one area of the country over another so a breakdown of the various regulations in place benefits Kratom users or anyone else interested in trying it out.
A State by State Look at Kratom Laws
Without DEA oversight, each state has created its own set of rules and regulations concerning the possession and use of Kratom. As it gains more widespread use, these established laws can change and evolve. Below is a look at the state by state differences within the US.
States Where Kratom is Legal
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
States Where Kratom is Legal with Age Restrictions or City Bans in Place
- California – Legal except in the city of San Diego
- Colorado – Legal except in the city of Denver
- Florida – Legal except in Sarasota County
- Illinois – Legal for anyone 18 years or older except in the city of Jerseyville
- Mississippi – Legal except in Union County
- New Hampshire – Legal for anyone 18 years of age or older
- Tennessee – Legal for anyone 21 years of age or older
States Where Kratom is Illegal
- Rhode Island
This list is current but actively evolving. You should always check for any localized restrictions in your area before attempting to use or purchase Kratom in any form. While it may be legal in the state in which you live, city or country regulations may ban kratom. Any penalties or fines in areas where Kratom is illegal can also vary, so always be aware of this if you are traveling with or attempting to purchase Kratom products.
How Are Kratom Rules and Regulations Enforced?
Without any federal laws in place regarding Kratom, enforcement is left up to state and local law enforcement. In states where Kratom is legal and without much restriction, it can be easy to order Kratom products from any reputable supplier online or in-person if you have access to a shop that sells them.
For states with certain restrictions in place, such as age limits or city and county bans on Kratom, the rules and regulations can be enforced by local law enforcement or retailers who sell Kratom products. Age restrictions would require a buyer to supply a legal form of identification to make a purchase. Local bans would also limit any potential retailer from supplying Kratom products on their shelves.
In states and localized regions where Kratom is banned, you could potentially get into serious trouble for possessing or attempting to purchase Kratom. These rules would be enforced by state and local law enforcement, with the penalties for this also varying from place to place. The penalties for violating these rules can range from mild to severe, depending on the location, so always stay informed of your local laws regarding Kratom.
Is Buying or Selling Kratom Legal in the US?
Again, this varies from state to state. In states where Kratom is not regulated, it is legal to buy and sell Kratom products without much worry. You can purchase Kratom from online suppliers or from a store in your area that offers it. If you are a store owner who wishes to sell Kratom, you need to make sure of any age restrictions that may be in place and have a means of verifying provided identification to ensure this.
If you live in a state where Kratom is banned, it is considered illegal to buy or possess it within state lines. If the state has a strict regulation or defines Kratom as a controlled substance, you could face heavy fines and potential jail time for possession. This includes ordering from online suppliers, so just because you can purchase Kratom from a supplier doesn’t mean that it’s entirely legal in your area.
Many online suppliers of Kratom will not ship to locations within the US with active bans and regulations in place. This is a common safeguard for their business as well as the customer. But not every online Kratom retailer will have these safeguards in place. You should always double-check your local rules and regulations before purchasing Kratom online to be fully aware of your area’s legality.