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Kratom Legality in Ohio: Current Legal Status

April 7th, 2024LegalityNo Comments »

Despite kratom’s rising popularity in the United States, its legality has always been the front and center of debates due to controversy. This overview will guide you through kratom’s current legal status in Ohio, pertinent past and present legislation regarding kratom, as well as advocacy and lobbying efforts by pro-kratom organizations in Ohio. By the end of this article, you’ll also discover what proposed kratom regulatory frameworks and guidelines mean for public health in Ohio and individual rights.

Current Legal Status of Kratom in Ohio in 2024

Fortunately, kratom is still legal in Ohio today. While the Ohio Board of Pharmacy has made previous attempts to classify kratom as a Schedule I Controlled Substance in 2018, they failed to come to fruition, and kratom has remained legally available in the state since.

The Attempt to Make Kratom Illegal (Schedule 1) in 2018

It was in October 2018 when the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy proposed to classify kratom as a Schedule I Controlled Substance alongside other drugs, which carry the highest criminal penalty within the state. Thankfully, the public and the American Kratom Association fought back, sharing personal success stories and testimonials, and the proposed legislation did not push through.

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Ohio House Bill 236 – An Attempt to Regulate Kratom in 2022

On March 25, 2022, a separate attempt to regulate kratom in Ohio (rather than make it illegal) was proposed. Ohio House Bill 326 aimed to regulate the sale of kratom and all other processes involving its manufacturing, processing, and packaging. Despite being a notable legislative attempt, the bill did not pass committee review, and kratom remained unregulated within Ohio.

What Would Have Happened if Ohio HB 236 Passed

Passing Ohio House Bill 326 (or the Ohio Kratom Consumer Protection Act) would have meant having an established kratom regulatory framework within Ohio. Listed below are the main objectives the bill tried to achieve, along with their corresponding details for your understanding:

Establish a Regulatory FrameworkThe bill, directed by the Director of Agriculture, would establish a program to monitor and regulate kratom processing and the sale of all related products. This would also include issuing kratom processing licenses.
Licensing RequirementsA kratom processing license is mandatory for all individuals who wish to process or sell kratom in Ohio. The license should be valid for three years unless suspended or revoked due to unforeseen circumstances.
Standards and ProceduresThe bill would have set standards for kratom product purity, preventing the sale of impure or contaminated products. It would have set labeling requirements to ensure consumer safety, including dosage recommendations.
Inspections and EnforcementThe legislation would also require annual inspections by taking a random sample of kratom products. This would ensure the vendors' compliance with the standards established. Moreover, this would also include the procedure or process of disposing of non-compliant kratom products.
Corrective Actions and PenaltiesThe Director of Agriculture could also issue corrective action plans for violations, possibly revoking and permanently suspending the license after repeated negligence.
Exemptions from Controlled Substances SchedulesOn a good note, the bill would ensure that kratom and all related products would not be classified as controlled substances within Ohio.

What is the Kratom Consumer Protection Act?

The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) is a legislative initiative aimed at regulating kratom sales and distribution as an alternative to banning. The main objectives are to protect consumers, weed out bad actors, and reduce the exposure of kratom to specific at-risk groups (children, uninformed consumers, etc).

Provisions of KCPADescription
Age restrictionsEstablishing a minimum age for purchasing or possessing kratom products, typically between 18 and 21 years old.
Testing and labeling requirementsMandating that kratom products be tested for purity, potency, and contaminants and that they be accurately labeled with ingredients and other relevant information.
Registration requirementsKratom manufacturers, distributors, and/or processors must register with state authorities and comply with specific standards and regulations.

The purpose of the KCPA is to ensure consumer safety by setting standards for the production, labeling, and sale of kratom products, similar to regulations for dietary supplements.

As of 2024, Congress is considering the Federal Kratom Consumer Protection Act. This act would establish uniform regulations at the federal level. However, individual states would still have the authority to set their own rules regarding the sale and distribution of kratom products. This federal legislation would provide consistency and clarity for both consumers and businesses operating in the kratom industry and set rules for states that have not put in place their kratom legislation. However, the specifics and status of such federal legislation would depend on the ongoing legislative process in Congress.

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Lobbying Efforts of Kratom in Ohio

The American Kratom Association (AKA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting kratom in the United States. Their mission revolves around advocating for the rights of kratom users, ensuring that kratom remains legal and accessible, and providing education about kratom’s potential benefits and risks.

Their Role in the Kratom Ban Attempt in 2018

As previously mentioned, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy had already proposed the classification of kratom as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, banning its sale and use within Ohio. With the help from AKA, policymakers and those against kratom become more educated about the products’ potential therapeutic effects and why it has been beneficial and life-changing for many residents of Ohio. The AKA provided ample user testimonies and led the charge to counteract some of the misinformation, which helped in countering misconceptions and misinformation about kratom.

Through grassroots advocacy and community outreach, AKA encouraged local Ohio residents to voice their opposition to the proposed ban, resulting in significant public pressure on the State Board of Pharmacy. Ultimately, the Board decided not to ban kratom, allowing the botanical to remain legal in Ohio, primarily due to the public pushback opposing the ban.

Promotion of the KCPA – Pro-Regulation

A critical initiative of the American Kratom Association is promoting the Kratom Consumer Protection Act or KCPA. This legislation aims to promote consumer safety and quality standards by regulating kratom product production, distribution, and sale.

One of the critical initiatives of the American Kratom Association is the promotion of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). This legislation aims to regulate the production, distribution, and sale of kratom products to ensure consumer safety and quality standards.

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Understanding the Future of Kratom in Ohio

Thanks to serious kratom advocates and the AKA, there is a growing inclination towards providing regulatory guidelines regarding kratom instead of outright banning all products related to it due to the extensive user experiences or testimonials supplied to legislators in Ohio. While maintaining public access remains the goal of pro-kratom advocacy organizations, ensuring consumer safety through regulatory approaches like the KCPA might be a balanced approach for states.

Eleven states have recently passed KCPA, whereas six states have made kratom illegal (although most were between 2016-2016).¬† Since 2020, no states have banned kratom and put in favor KCPA’s and regulation, which appears at this time to be the favored approach to deal with kratom.

Kratom regulation in Ohio would introduce standards, penalties, and oversight to prevent potential risks associated with kratom such as minors using it, low-quality product and product sold with limited directions and/or usage instructions. These guidelines may help to protect public health interests in Ohio if passed while allowing kratom enthusiasts in the state to keep legally accessing kratom products.

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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