Federal Agency Explores Benefits Of The ‘Controversial Tree’ Kratom

A top federal health agency hosted a meeting last week to explore the therapeutic potential of a “controversial tree” commonly known as kratom, which supporters say has pain relieving qualities and can be used as a substitute for opioids.

As part of a lecture series, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invited University of Florida researcher Christopher McCurdy to provide an overview of the science of kratom and what role it could play in mitigating the overdose crisis.

McCurdy, who previously served as the director of an NIH research center, titled his lecture, “Can a Controversial Tree Help End the Opioid Crisis?” He went into detail about anecdotal experience and clinical research, explaining how there’s promising evidence that kratom could help alleviate pain, reduce withdrawal symptoms from opioids and lower dependence on methamphetamine, for example.

Read more at Marijuana Movement

Kratom regulations advance in Missouri Legislature

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate endorsed legislation Monday requiring more regulations for kratom products.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, in the House, and Sen. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, in the Senate, will bar the sale of the product to anyone younger than 18, as well as require sellers to ensure that their products do not contain dangerous substances.

The legislation was approved on a 30-2 vote, with Republican Sens. Paul Wieland of Imperial and Jeanie Riddle of Mokane dissenting.

Kratom is a plant grown in Southeast Asia that affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine. It is often used as a dietary supplement for pain relief and a natural alternative to treat opioid withdrawal, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other health conditions.

Keep reading at stltoday.com

Here’s what Florida’s lawmakers didn’t do: notable failed bills

A bill by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, who is also chairman of the Florida Republican Party, would have regulated a different drug, kratom, a medicinal plant with opioid properties. 

Gruters withdrew the bill after it passed two committees unanimously but then stalled. The Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act was intended to protect people’s rights to consume the drug safely in Florida, Gruters said.

Sarasota County has banned possession of kratom, citing the decision by the U.S. Army and Navy to ban the drug. Their findings said the drug has addictive properties and causes symptoms like dry mouth, insomnia, anorexia, hallucinations and confusion.

Gruters said the drug is good overall and wants to prevent manufacturers from mixing the drug with harmful substances. The drug can be found in many smoke shops around the U.S. and is typically consumed in tea.

Keep reading at the Orlando Sentinel

Dispensaries selling illegal magic mushrooms in Vancouver could lead to the legalization of the substance, like they did with cannabis, shop keeper says

  • It’s not legal to sell psilocybin or “shrooms” in Canada, but one activist shop owner does anyway.
  • He’s trying to push Vancouver to manage or legalize it, as cannabis sellers did in 2015.
  • “If you’re like me, and you’re willing to take a risk and kind of push it forward, you find the resistance isn’t very strong,” he told Insider.

Psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms or “shrooms,” is not allowed to be sold under Canadian federal law, but that hasn’t stopped some Vancouver store owners from selling it anyway.

“There’s not a strong resistance to people doing this kind of stuff. If you’re like me, and you’re willing to take a risk and kind of push it forward, you find the resistance isn’t very strong,” Dana Larsen, the owner of the Medicinal Mushroom Dispensary, told Insider.

Read more at Business Insider

National retailer CBD Kratom sues Radnor Township over ordinance

The prospect of a national CBD retailer locating in Wayne — the focus of community-wide unease over the last month — prompted the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners to take steps to block the shop’s opening.

In response, the retailer sued the township and its director of community development the same day. It hoped to stop the vote or, failing that, to get an injunction that would allow it to do business at the Wayne location.

The ordinance enacted by the commissioners Monday bans the sale of two controversial substances, kratom, and Delta-8, within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, or daycare center,  effectively halting the opening of the new shop by the company CBD Kratom. The ordinance also prohibits the sale, distribution, or offering of kratom or Delta-8 to individuals under the age of 21.

Read more at whyy.org

Radnor votes to regulate kratom, delta-8

RADNOR — Weeks after a store selling products called kratom and delta-8 opened in Wayne and was then ordered to shut down by the township, the board of commissioners has adopted an ordinance that would prevent the owners from reopening at that location.

This week, the Radnor Board of Commissioners passed an ordinance that bans the sale of kratom and delta-8 within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare center or playground. The ordinance also prohibits the sale of the products to anyone anywhere in the township under 21.

“[T]he Radnor Township Board of Commissioners (Board) hereby finds that mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, also known as Kratom, and Delta 8 THC, have the potential for abuse and can pose a health, welfare, and safety concern to the community and its residents; …

Keep reading at mainlinemedianews.com

How ‘magic mushrooms’ could follow in the footsteps of cannabis

What was something of a taboo issue half a decade ago is now the subject of bills from both Republicans and Democrats in more than a dozen states. They range from proposals to study the medical benefits of psychedelics to bills that would allow adults to consume such drugs under supervision.

“It’s gone viral and sparked an interest nationwide,” said Democratic Washington state Sen. Jesse Salomon, who is sponsoring a bill that would allow psilocybin use among adults over age 21 under supervision. “I just didn’t know there were so many like-minded people on this.”

Oregon led the nation when voters approved a ballot measure in 2020 to legalize and regulate psilocybin therapy, alongside another decriminalizing drug possession more broadly.

Read the full story at Politico

Making Mushrooms Legal

In November 2020, voters in Oregon passed a pair of historic drug policy ballot measures. The first was Measure 110, a proposal to decriminalize low-level drug possession, with 58 percent in favor; the second was Measure 109, a proposal to grant legal access to psilocybin (the psychoactive component in magic mushrooms) for mental health treatment, with 56 percent in favor. It was an unprecedented turn of events in drug policy. But as always in the United States, businessmen were waiting in the wings. 

Compass Pathways, a biotech firm backed by the right-wing Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, had been preparing for a “psychedelic revolution” and the subsequent investor windfall, accumulating patents here and abroad for its synthesized formulation of psilocybin and its use in therapy.

Keep reading at The Nation

California Activists Drop 2022 Psilocybin Legalization Ballot Initiative After Falling Short Of Signature Requirement

California activists on Wednesday announced that they have come up short on collecting enough signatures to qualify a measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for the state’s November ballot, though they aren’t giving up on a future election cycle bid.

Decriminalize California was first cleared by the state’s attorney general’s officeto begin signature gathering in September, giving them 180 days to collect 623,212 valid signatures from registered voters. On an all-volunteer basis, the group collected about 46 percent of those signatures, but that was pre-validation, meaning a significant portion would likely have been deemed invalid for one reason or another.

“We were doing great there collecting and then in mid-December just about everyone of our core volunteers got COVID and most of the events we were scheduled at either closed, postponed or had an extremely weak turnout,” campaign manager Ryan Munevar said in an e-mail blast to supporters.

Read the full story at Marijuana Movement

Radnor moves forward with an ordinance on the regulation of kratom, delta 8

RADNOR — One week after the Radnor Board of Health said they’d recommend the township not regulate kratom, the commissioners are moving ahead with the introduction of an ordinance to regulate the substance.

But the proposed regulations will not be a ban, as some residents and commissioners have demanded. Instead, the new rules will limit where it’s sold and set a minimum age for purchasing the product.

A final vote on the regulations could come as early as the board’s next meeting on March 28.

Under the proposed ordinance, the sale of kratom and another product called delta 8 would be prohibited within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or daycare center.

Keep reading at delcotimes.com

Kratom consumers oppose ban in comments to FDA

Many of their stories are similar. Homeless and hooked on heroin. Suffering from chronic pain and addicted to opioids. Unemployed with a grim outlook for the future.

Until these consumers started using a botanical native to Southeast Asia: kratom.

In response to a Federal Register notice related to an upcoming meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO), one man named Abe Stewart wrote to FDA that he suffered from “chronic pain” and turned to opioids.

“I became addicted, I lost my home and my job, and I was homeless for years dealing with an opioid addiction,” he shared. “Kratom not only [helped] me get over that addiction, but it also helps me deal with the pain so I can be a functioning member of society. Without this plant in my life, the pain would be so horrific that it would not be worth living.”

Read more at Natural Products Insider

Radnor Board of Health rejects regulating kratom

RADNOR — The Radnor Township Board of Health this week rejected a plan to recommend the township regulate the sale of kratom, a herbal extract that has been linked to numerous deaths over the past few years.
The Radnor Board of Commissioners asked the township’s board of health to review the issues surrounding the use and possible regulation of kratom after members of the public and some township officials began calling for a ban last month.

The controversy over kratom erupted in Radnor in February when a store called CBD Kratom opened inside the former Starbucks shop on Lancaster Avenue in Wayne. The store was ordered closed because the owners never received any building permits.

After a presentation and a discussion with public comments, David Simmons, chairman of the Radnor Board of Health, said he would advise against the township regulating kratom.

Read more at mainlinemedianews.com

Bill that would have created ‘Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act’ dies in committee

A bill adding regulations to the sale of kratom, a plant grown in Southeast Asia that the FDA says has addictive effects similar to morphine and other opiates, has likely died after failing to receive a hearing in its final committee stop.

Sarasota Republican Sen. Joe Gruters filed the measure (SB 1076), dubbed the “Kratom Consumer Protection Act,” in late November. It went on to receive unanimous support in two committees before hitting a snag in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A similar bill in the House (HB 1071), filed by Pensacola Republican Rep. Alex Andrade, went unheard.

With just one week left in the Session, most Senate committees can’t meet without special approval from President Wilton Simpson.

Gruters’ bill aimed to apply to kratom products strictures similar to those placed on alcohol consumables. It would have banned the sale of kratom to people under 21 and required processors to ensure the products contain no dangerous substances.

Read more at Florida Politics

Assembly lawmakers abandon vote on bill legalizing the herbal supplement kratom after objection from police and doctors

MADISON – Assembly lawmakers on Wednesday abandoned a scheduled vote on a bill that would legalize an herbal supplement after objections from law enforcement officials and medical doctors. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who supports the legislation, said Wednesday he didn’t agree with their concerns but acknowledged it was in limbo and may not have enough votes to pass before taking it off the calendar permanently. 

Under the legislation, the extract known as kratom would have no longer been considered a controlled substance in Wisconsin — one of few states that bans the product.

Derived from the leaves of an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, kratom acts on opioid receptors in the brain and is sold as a supplement, most often in capsule or powder that can be mixed with liquid.

Get the full story at jsonline.com

Assembly lawmakers are set to take up a bill legalizing the herbal supplement kratom over the objection of police and doctors

MADISON – Assembly lawmakers are scheduled to take up a bill this week that would legalize an herbal supplement over the objection of law enforcement officials and medical doctors. 

But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who supports the legislation, said Wednesday that the bill is in limbo and may get voted down on the floor. 

Under the legislation, the extract known as kratom would no longer be considered a controlled substance in Wisconsin — one of few states that bans the product.

Derived from the leaves of an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, kratom acts on opioid receptors in the brain and is sold as a supplement, most often in capsule or powder that can be mixed with liquid.

Read the full article at jsonline.com.

Oregon drafting rules for magic mushroom legalization

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon has released draft rules for the therapeutic use of psilocybin, commonly called magic mushrooms.

Voters approved Measure 109 in November of 2020, giving the state two years to set up the framework to regulate legal magic mushrooms in the state, The Oregonian/OregonLive reports.

Researchers believe psilocybin could help treat depression, PTSD and addiction, and Oregon’s system would allow for consumption of the substance in a therapeutic setting for anyone 21 years or older. No prescription or diagnosis would be required to take part in the program.

The rules released last week by the Oregon Health Authority are not complete and are not yet adopted, but they give a glimpse into what the program might look like.

The draft rules deal with how training programs for those administering psilocybin will be evaluated and credentialed, what the psilocybin itself will be and how that substance will be tested.

Read more at The Lewiston Tribune.

Ohio moves to regulate kratom – used for pain, opioid addiction – but some say it’s dangerous

The Ohio House passed a bill allowing for regulation of kratom on Wednesday, a controversial move given that some medical experts have called it addictive and harmful.

Kratom is an herbal extract from the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree and is typically taken as a powder or tea. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the extract can decrease pain, lead to pleasure or sedation and can help people cope with opioid withdrawal.

Currently, its use is not outlawed in Ohio, and it is sold in specialty stores, head shops, gas stations and online. But whether it’s safe has been a matter of debate.

Get the full story at finance.yahoo.com.

Mississippi House passes bill making kratom illegal

JACKSON • One day after marijuana became legal in Mississippi for medicinal use, the state House on Thursday passed legislation that would make the herbal product known as kratom illegal. “This is a drug that has no medicinal value,” House Drug Policy Chairman Lee Yancey said from the…

Read the full story at Daily Journal

‘War on Kratom’ sparks push for protection in Kansas

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Hundreds of Kansas stores sell Kratom, a controversial herbal extract from Southeast Asia that some people use to treat chronic pain. A new proposal being weighed by the state senate would ensure that the product is protected from harmful additives.

The substance has received pushback from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has labeled Kratom unsafe for human consumption given its psychoactive and euphoric properties.

However, many people that advocate for its use have pointed to its health benefits, and say it could be the key to battling the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Mac Haddow, Senior Fellow on Public Policy for the American Kratom Association said, when used correctly, it can help people wane off of opioids.

Read the story at ksnt.com

Maine could legalize ‘magic mushroom’ drug to treat depression

He’s been struggling with depression for nearly 20 years. Traditional antidepressants weren’t working.

Losing hope of being cured, he began researching alternative treatments. That’s when he read about psilocybin, the hallucinogenic drug found in “magic mushrooms,” and how it was emerging as a promising treatment for major depressive disorder.

In 2015, he took the leap. Because psilocybin is an illegal drug, he had to be discreet. He secured the psychedelic fungus from black market sources, then found people he trusted to stay with him and guide him through the experience. He lay down, put on a blindfold and headphones playing music, and embarked on an inward journey.

“There’s no words to explain it,” said the 43-year-old man, whose first name is Patrick. The newspaper agreed to not use his full name or identify him because the drug is illegal and he fears criminal enforcement.

Get the full story at pressherald.com