State legislators seek kratom meeting with FDA commissioner

In a letter to FDA’s commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn, lawmakers from four states suggested it would be a “fool’s game” for the agency to try to keep kratom from consumers.

Four lawmakers from Arizona, Georgia, Utah and Nevada who sponsored kratom legislation in their states have requested a meeting with the top official of FDA—an agency that has long raised concerns about the safety of the botanical from Southeast Asia.

Positions held by FDA related to kratom and another botanical ingredient—CBD—were adopted long before Dr. Stephen Hahn was appointed commissioner, the lawmakers wrote to Hahn in a June 8 letter.

Read more at Natural Products Insider.

CDC flooded with comments on marijuana and kratom as alternative painkillers ahead of deadline

Federal regulators looking into pain management options at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received hundreds of comments related to medical marijuana and more than 1,000 about kratom.

The federal agency’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control is looking for input on “individual stakeholder’s values and preferences related to pain and pain management options,” it said in an e-mail last week.

“Through this opportunity, CDC is seeking stakeholders’ perspectives on and experiences with pain and pain management, including, but not limited to, the benefits and harms of opioid use,” it said. “CDC invites input specifically on topics focused on using or prescribing opioid pain medications, non-opioid medications, or non-pharmacological treatments (e.g., exercise therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy).”

Read more at MSN.

Monroe County supervisors rescind ban on kratom

A countywide ban of the herbal product kratom put in place last spring was lifted Monday morning following a 3-2 vote by the Monroe County Board of Supervisors to rescind it.

A delegation of citizens, business owners and advocates of kratom made impassioned pleas for the supervisors to overturn the countywide ban on the controversial supplement for treating chronic pain.

Supervisors met for half an hour in executive session before going back into open session to take the vote. Supervisors Joseph Richardson, B.R. Richey and Rubel West voted in favor of rescinding the ban, while Fulton Ware and Hosea Bogan voted to keep it in force.

Representatives from the Crime and Addiction Task Force of the Lowndes County Foundation requested for the previous administration of supervisors to pass the ban last March, making it the seventh county in the region to approve a kratom ban.

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Cascade County Officials Express Concern About Kratom

Kratom Powder

Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant which grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned that the drug, which affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, may have properties that could expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.

In Cascade County, officials including Dr. Deborah Rose with Benefis Health System, Great Falls Police Chief Dave Bowen, and District Judge Gregory Pinski are also concerned about the drug’s existence in the community. According to Pinski, almost all criminal activity in Great Falls is connected to substance abuse, and the addictive nature of Kratom and other drugs like it are exacerbating that problem.

Read more at KRTV

Mississippi Steps Back From Regulating or Outlawing Kratom

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators have killed bills that would either ban or regulate kratom, an herbal drug that can be used for pain relief.

Kratom is currently unregulated in most parts of the United States, but has been outlawed by a few local governments in Mississippi amid concerns that it can be harmful.

Kratom is derived from a tree that’s native to Southeast Asia. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says the leaves can be crushed and then smoked, put into capsules or taken with water or other liquids.

The DEA characterizes kratom as one of its “drugs of concern.” The agency says people have used it to relieve muscle strains and as a substitute for opium; the drug has also been used to manage withdrawal symptoms from opioids.

Click here to read the full story

Federal Authorities Tight-Lipped on When Kratom’s Future Will Be Revealed

Kratom Powder

For months, the fate of the opioid-like plant kratom has hung in the balance. Will the US government make it illegal next year? Next week? With every fresh piece of news, scientists and kratom users alike tense up, ready for the hammer to fall. But the anticipated day hasn’t arrived yet, and it’s still not clear when it will. The moment seemed nigh on November 13, when Business Insider posted a story in which a US Drug Enforcement Administration spokesperson seemed to suggest that the decision would be announced any day now.

DEA spokesperson Melvin Patterson told Inverse that Erin Brodwin’s article for BI “wasn’t a very accurate portrayal” of his comments, though his telling of the facts outlined a distinction without a difference. “There’s no telling when the documentation will be submitted to the [Federal Register],” he said. “It could be next week, it could be the week thereafter, it could be the next month, it could be sometime next year.”

Whatever the timeline may be, the fact remains that a ruling is coming. Regardless of what Patterson really meant, the DEA’s stance on kratom raises serious questions about whether federal authorities are considering the latest research, the experiences of scientists, or the reality of illegalizing drugs when deciding the future of kratom, a controversial substance that has shown promise in helping people with chronic pain and opioid use disorder. The Federal Drug Administration submitted its recommendation to ban kratom powders & its extracts to the DEA in 2017, and researchers at the DEA have been reviewing the recommendation since then.

Continue reading at Inverse.com

Ohio Board of Pharmacy wants to ban Kratom

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy wants to ban the herbal supplement Kratom.

If you’re not sure what that is, it’s an all-natural product that comes from the Kratom plant found in Southeast Asia, primarily Indonesia — and some use it as pain relief.

It can be purchased in several forms including powder, capsules and liquid extracts.

Hemptations owner E.R. Beach told WLWT his customers have been requesting Kratom for more than seven years and tell him it helps with anxiety and pain relief.

“We’ve seen an increase in business. Everyone from veterans that are trying to get off of opiates to people that are trying to use something all natural to help with whatever it is this may help them with,” Beach said. “Science hasn’t found that it is addictive in any way. But I believe it is giving pain relief to people.”

Click here to read what Beach told WLWT.