Mississippi counties listed: Monroe, Lowndes, Union, Alcorn, Tishomingo, Itawamba, Calhoun, Noxubee, Prentiss, and Tippah.
Updated February 13, 2021
With the global emergence of the coronavirus, there was little time for lawmakers to consider matters relating to kratom in 2020. More bans took place but we also saw our fair share of defeated measures and stance changes. A fourth state even joined in the effort to promote safety by opting for regulation instead of criminilization.
States that were previously committed to the anti-kratom sentiment are now willing to have discussions. We have even seen states that previously outlawed it turn around and make kratom legal again. Pro-kratom lobbyists are currently active in around 20 states.
If you weren’t already aware, the KCPA is an article of legislation that aims to regulate the preparation, distribution, and sale of kratom products at the state level. The merits of it form the foundation for campaigns by both the American Kratom Association (AKA) and independent advocacy groups. The Act calls for the following, among smaller details:
The legislation may vary slightly by adopting state, but the main verbiage is the same. The overall purpose of the bill is to encourage an industry standard baseline product quality and to protect the kratom end-user from bad products and dishonest vendors or those who otherwise pose a threat to unsuspecting consumers.
See the above map for more information on the American Kratom Association’s efforts to influence the passing of the KCPA in more states. As of last year, there were still calls for funding in Louisiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. KCPA lobbyists have begun reach out with Rhode Island, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas.
The following is a full alphabetical list of each state and corresponding notes where appropriate. All details are current up to the time of writing: please note that some areas may have legislation attempts pending. Some states that have chosen to keep kratom legal have also chosen to restrict it to individuals of certain ages.
|• Alabama – listed as a Schedule I controlled substance statewide (2016), KCPA lobbyists have been retained|
|• Alaska – legal|
|• Arizona – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed, KCPA passed (2019)|
|• Arkansas – listed as a Schedule I controlled substance statewide (2015)|
|• California – legal outside the city of San Diego (2016)|
|• Colorado – legal outside of Denver (2017), Monument (2019), and Parker (2019), KCPA lobbyists have been retained|
|• Connecticut – legal, KCPA pending|
|• Delaware – legal|
|• Florida – legal outside of Sarasota County (2014), KCPA lobbyists have been retained|
|• Georgia – legal, KCPA passed (2019)|
|• Hawaii – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed|
|• Idaho – legal, KCPA lobbyists have been retained|
|• Illinois – legal outside of Jersey City (2017), Alton City (2018), and Edwardsville (2020), KCPA lobbyists retained|
|• Indiana – listed as a Schedule I controlled substance statewide (2014)|
|• Iowa – legal|
|• Kansas – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed, KCPA lobbyists have been retained|
|• Kentucky – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed|
|• Louisiana – legal|
|• Maine – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed|
|• Maryland – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed|
|• Massachusetts – legal|
|• Michigan – legal, KCPA lobbyists retained|
|• Minnesota – legal|
|• Mississippi – legal at the state level, illegal in 10 counties and at least 25 individual municipalities|
|• Missouri – legal, KCPA passed House (2020)|
|• Montana – legal|
|• Nebraska – legal|
|• Nevada – legal, KCPA passed (2019)|
|• New Hampshire – legal outside of Franklin (2019), legislation failed|
|• New Jersey – legal|
|• New Mexico – legal|
|• New York – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed|
|• North Carolina – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed|
|• North Dakota – legal|
|• Ohio – legal, KCPA lobbyists have been retained, regulation being considered|
|• Oklahoma – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed, KCPA passed (2020)|
|• Oregon – legal, KCPA passed (2021)|
|• Pennsylvania – legal|
|• Rhode Island – Schedule I controlled substance, KCPA legislation pending|
|• South Carolina – legal|
|• South Dakota – legal, KCPA-type legislation passed (2021)|
|• Tennessee – legal, KCPA lobbyists retained|
|• Texas – legal|
|• Utah – legal, anti-kratom legislation failed, KCPA passed (2019)|
|• Vermont – Schedule I controlled substance, KCPA legislation pending|
|• Virginia – legal|
|• Washington – legal|
|• West Virginia – legal|
|• Wisconsin – Schedule I controlled substance, KCPA lobbyists have been retained|
|• Wyoming – legal|
The AKA is currently forming a grassroots movement they’ve called the Kratom Consumer Council. The group is made up of kratom advocates from all over and is based on volunteer efforts. It is nationwide, in fact.
Each state will be appointed one Chair along with Congressional District captains. The council’s purpose is to relay to state officials their own personal testimonies about how kratom has improved their lives. They will be the face of the AKA at the state level.
What we will have is an organized mechanism for public outreach and communication with members of state legislatures. You can learn more about the Kratom Consumer Council on the AKA site, and you can sign-up to volunteer your time. Remember, stories from constituents are what moves legislators to overturn bans or vote a particular way.
As of the time of this update there are 12 states targeted for KCPA legislation in 2021. COVID caused a lot of sessions scheduled for 2020 to be pushed back into the new year. Time will tell if the schedule will need to be modified again.
The AKA sees a fairly clear path to a KCPA adoption by Florida. One of the state’s biggest opponents of kratom, House of Representatives member, Kristen Jacobs, was steadfast in her position to have kratom listed as a Schedule I controlled substance even though the FDA couldn’t meet their burden for classifying it as such.
Jacobs succumbed to cancer in April of 2020, and she seems to have been replaced by representatives who are open to learn the real science and facts behind the kratom leaf. The AKA plans to introduce a KCPA bill in front of Florida lawmakers in 2021. It looks hopeful.
Federally, we may be seeing some things slightly shift gears as well. As we move into a new presidential regime and observe a partisan shift in Congress, many of kratom’s enemies may no longer be such a problem. With overdoses from actual drugs accelerating at an alarming rate and only gaining steam, they have bigger things to tend to.
According to the American Kratom Association, the new FDA commissioner has even agreed to discuss his organization’s current anti-kratom sentiment once he gets settled into office. Believe it or not, the stance right now is that there may be a federal KCPA signed into law this year. We’ve waited this long – I’m sure we can stick it out a little bit longer.
Is kratom legal in 2021? Overwhelmingly, at least at the federal and most state levels. The past year or so has seen the release of a promising amount of positive kratom research along with willingness of politicians to consider the KCPA.
Although the FDA continues to relay false information and fiction, the AKA and the rest of the kratom community continue to spread the science and now some government actors are beginning to lend and ear.
We will do our best to keep this current as things evolve in the kratom world throughout 2021. Anyone with any updates concerning any of the aforementioned jurisdictions is encouraged to reach out so we can keep this as current as possible.