Kratom is currently legal in Montana, but if HB 437 is passed into law this legislative session, it would list kratom as a Schedule I drug, meaning the state sees no medical use for it.
Kratom users advocate for its ability to boost mood and energy, help with chronic pain and potentially replace opioids.
Mitch Ronshaugen owns Hippy Hut, an antique and kratom store. He is speaking out against the bill, as it could impact his life in multiple ways if it passes.
“If this House Bill 437 passes, it will destroy my business and I’ll end up back on welfare,” Ronshaugen said. “I found kratom because of my aversion to use opiate painkillers. I had a friend that ended up with a heroin addiction that started with prescription medications when the doctor yanked the rug out from under him.”