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Is Kratom Legal In Hawaii?

November 13th, 2023LegalNo Comments »

Is Kratom Legal in Hawaii? The answer is yes—for now. Kratom is currently legal at the state level in Hawaii, though its legality remains uncertain going forward. While Hawaii lawmakers have opted not to criminalize or ban kratom possession and use statewide, individual counties have the authority to prohibit or regulate kratom locally.

Kratom advocates have managed to stop proposed statewide bans so far, but its future is unclear. Proposed legislation and regulatory actions to restrict access keep arising for debate, creating an unpredictable landscape for consumers and sellers. Although kratom is still accessible for now and remains legal statewide, the ongoing debates over tighter control versus prohibition mean its legal status in Hawaii could change quickly. Consumers should stay updated on local laws to ensure legal and responsible kratom use.

Hawaii’s Legislative Attempts to Ban Kratom

Kratom’s current legal and unregulated status in Hawaii should not be taken for granted. Since the herb gained mainstream popularity a few years ago, there have been multiple legislative attempts to impose restrictions or prohibitions.

Several bills introduced between 2018-2019 sought to link kratom use to impaired driving and highway safety risks. These included SB2826 in 2018 and SB641 in 2019. While these bills did not pass, they brought kratom to lawmakers’ attention as a potential issue.

An even more significant threat to Hawaii’s kratom consumers emerged in 2020 with Senate Bill 3064. This proposed prohibiting the main kratom alkaloids, mitragynine, and 7-hydroxy mitragynine, by making them Schedule V controlled substances. Although not as severe as Schedule I, this would have effectively banned kratom by criminalizing possession of products containing these compounds. Kratom would only be accessible via doctor’s prescription, but it lacks approved medical use.

Fortunately, SB3064 died just days after its introduction. But kratom advocates remain concerned that new bills could once again seek to restrict or ban access heavily. Hawaii’s kratom laws could rapidly change if such legislation gains future traction.

image of hawaii kratom consumer protection act

Hawaii Kratom Consumer Protection Act

In addition to efforts to prohibit or restrict kratom, Hawaii lawmakers have also considered legislation to regulate the kratom market and protect consumers. One notable proposal was the Hawaii Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) introduced in January 2022 through House Bill 2356 and its companion Senate Bill 3307.

Representative Scott Saiki and Senator Ronald Kouchi, both Democrats, sponsored the Hawaii KCPA. If passed, this legislation would have established statewide regulations on kratom sales and manufacturing similar to KCPAs adopted in other states. The key provisions included:

  • Capping the allowable percentage of the alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine at 2% of the total alkaloid content in any kratom product. This alkaloid is considered one of the main psychoactive compounds.
  • Requiring full disclosure of ingredients on product labels banning adulteration with non-kratom substances.
  • Prohibiting products containing synthetic kratom compounds.
  • Banning sales and transfers of any kratom products to individuals under 18 years old.

The Hawaii KCPA also set penalties for violations, escalating with repeated offenses. Fines up to $500 were proposed for a first offense, $1000 for a second offense, and a 3-year ban on selling kratom products for those with multiple offenses.

Proponents viewed the KCPA as a balanced approach to regulate kratom without banning it altogether. The American Kratom Association advocates for states to adopt KCPA measures as preferable to prohibition. If passed, the Hawaii KCPA would have taken effect January 1, 2023.

However, HB2356 unfortunately stalled and died quickly after introduction, failing to advance out of the House Health, Human Services, & Homeless Committee. No legislator has reintroduced the KCPA in Hawaii since the 2022 effort sputtered.

While it does not appear Hawaii will entirely ban or criminalize kratom in the near future, the KCPA’s failure demonstrates challenges still remain in establishing regulated access. Lack of oversight leaves risks of unsafe products. But advocates hope education and further dialogue with lawmakers could build support for consumer protections over outright prohibition. The future of kratom regulation in Hawaii remains open for debate.

image of where to buy kratom in hawaii

Where to Buy Kratom in Hawaii

Given that kratom remains unregulated in Hawaii, quality can vary significantly between vendors and products. Consumers should research their options carefully to find high-quality, unadulterated kratom.

Online retailers can offer lab-tested kratom and provide purity guarantees, but shipping times to Hawaii may be slower. Local stores provide immediate access but may carry untested products of questionable quality.

When buying locally, choose specialized kratom retailers over gas stations or smoke shops. Ask about lab analyses and avoid products making unfounded medical claims. Online, look for established brands that post third-party lab results and are members of the American Kratom Association’s Good Manufacturing Practices standards program.

It may take some extra research to find quality kratom in Hawaii. However, seeking out independent lab tests and vetted vendors can help identify pure, uncontaminated products amidst the unregulated local market. Taking the time to verify quality is an essential step, given the lack of mandatory oversight.

image of the uncertain future of kratom in hawaii

The Uncertain Future of Kratom in Hawaii

While currently legal, the future availability of kratom in Hawaii is highly uncertain. There are ongoing debates among lawmakers about whether and how to regulate or restrict this herb.

Supporters advocate maintaining legal access for adult use. However, some officials have concerns about potential health risks if kratom remains unregulated. There is no consensus approach yet.

Previous legislative efforts indicate there are those willing to impose severe limits or prohibitions. Advocates hope reasonable regulations can preserve access safely. But outcomes could range from continued unrestricted use to a ban.

Given its ambiguous legal status, the future of kratom in Hawaii remains unclear. Consumers cannot assume current legality will persist indefinitely. The debate over balancing access and control continues.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER: The content on this page is strictly for entertainment purposes only. The content below has not been medically reviewed and is not intended to offer advice for use or intended use. For more information about kratom and its potential dangers, please visit the fda.gov site.

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