Unless you’re an expert or a vendor like us, the issue of kratom legal status can be very confusing to sort out. The legal status of kratom is changing rapidly in the U.S., often on a state-by-state basis; for the average consumer, it can be tricky to figure out if kratom is legal to purchase in your home state. Remember, it’s the state you live in, not the state the kratom vendor is in, that determines kratom’s legal status for you as a consumer. Even though kratom is legal here in Illinois, we will not be able to ship it to you if you live in a state where kratom is banned. Luckily, Shaman’s Garden is here to help you sort through the complex terrain of kratom legal status.
It might surprise you to learn that kratom has been made illegal in its native country of Thailand, as well as in Malaysia and Burma. Kratom was banned in Southeast Asia despite the fact that fresh kratom leaves have been used in these regions for hundreds of years as a traditional herbal medicine. Why is this? Why would countries where kratom has been innocently used for so long suddenly decide to ban this herb? Unfortunately, as is often the case, political and economic reasons rather than medical evidence motivated the kratom ban in Thailand and nearby regions. Kratom was illegalized in 1943 in Thailand, after the Thai government decided the traditional use of kratom was cutting into the widespread (though illegal) opium trade. That’s right: the government went after kratom because it’s a native tree people could harvest for free, instead of a drug they had to pay money for. It’s currently punishable by death to possess an ounce of kratom in Thailand! The Thai government has even tried to eradicate kratom trees from their native habitat, luckily without success.
Fortunately, the legal outlook for kratom is much rosier in other parts of the world. Kratom is legal in the United States, with the exception of a few states we’ll look at below. Kratom is also totally legal to import and sell in our two nearest neighbors, Canada and Mexico, although these countries classify kratom as “not for human consumption” and ban it from being marketed or sold as a dietary supplement. Other countries that regulate kratom as a controlled substance include Denmark, Germany, Finland, Romania, Poland, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway, Israel, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea. This is the most complete list we could find of countries that regulate or ban kratom. To be on the safe side, if you’re outside of the United States, check the laws and regulations in your country if you plan to order kratom from us.
Kratom Legal Status in the U.S.
The United States has recently ruled that kratom cannot be imported as a dietary supplement for human consumption under its import laws. However, in most of the US, kratom is totally legal to buy and sell as an incense component, for aromatherapy or research purposes, or as an herbarium specimen, which is exactly how we sell it.
States where kratom or its main compounds, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, have been banned are Indiana, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. States where bills to ban kratom are pending (but not yet passed) are Michigan, Iowa, and Louisiana. Our home state of Illinois also bans the sale of kratom to minors under the age of 18, which has always been our company policy for all products we sell. Other gray areas in the US’s kratom legal status include the laws in Vermont: in Vermont, 7-hydroxymitragynine is banned under the state’s Regulated Drug Rules. Although kratom the herb is not mentioned, illegalizing a main alkaloid of kratom is tantamount to illegalizing kratom itself.
Then there’s Florida. The laws on kratom in this state are changing so fast that sometimes it seems like every day brings a new update. Our latest news is that as of March 11th, 2015, the Florida Senate has passed a bill illegalizing kratom and its main alkaloids, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, and making their possession a misdemeanor. Previously, kratom was legal in most areas of Florida, although Sarasota County passed a motion to ban kratom and its main alkaloids, and other Florida counties considered following suit.
Finally, some states originally had bans kratom or planned to, but later amended those laws due to the efforts of kratom advocacy groups, notably the Botanical Legal Defense. Legislation has been amended to remove kratom from the banned substances list in Oklahoma, Arizona, and Illinois. If you need the latest updates to kratom’s legal status, or just have a healthy interest in the shifting legal landscape surrounding kratom in the US, the people over at Speciosa.org maintain a regularly updated, color-coded map of the states where kratom is banned, regulated, and legal. It’s a great resource, and the most dynamic source on kratom’s rapidly changing legal status that is readily available to consumers!