Kratom manufacturer fights feds over seizure

A manufacturer of kratom products seized by U.S. authorities has asked a federal court in Oklahoma to dismiss a civil forfeiture action.

In court papers filed May 17, lawyers for Botanic Tonics LLC argued the government’s complaint “fails to even reference, let alone allege non-compliance with, the specific statute addressing whether new dietary ingredients are deemed adulterated.”

“Further, the complaint and its boilerplate language are bereft of facts that support the government’s conclusory allegations about the safety of kratom,” asserted the motion to dismiss, filed in the U.S. District for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

FDA, with the help of U.S. Marshals, recently seized articles containing kratom manufactured by Botanic Tonics of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Read more at Natural Products Insider

Kratom ban bill discussed by Louisiana lawmakers

LAFAYETTE, La. — Next week, the Louisiana Senate will consider a bill classifying kratom as a Schedule I narcotic.

This classification means that kratom would be categorized alongside other substances such as heroin, LSD, marijuana, and peyote. The term Schedule I refers to substances that are not currently accepted for medical use and have a high likelihood of abuse.

The leaves of this tropical tree native to Southeast Asia can produce a stimulant-like effect when consumed. Local tobacco shops and gas stations here in Lafayette sell kratom pills, powders, and liquids.

Asher Lansiquot co-owner of Lit Smoke Shop, says that besides CBD kratom is the next highest product he sells. His customers tell him that taking the plant has been life-changing for them.

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$3M in kratom seized from Oklahoma manufacturer, company faces 2 class action lawsuits

In a case winding its way through federal court, a Broken Arrow manufacturer of dietary supplements is fighting with the federal government over millions of dollars in product that contains kratom, an herbal drug often marketed as effective for easing opioid withdrawals. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the U.S. Marshals Service, acting with investigators from the Food and Drug Administration, seized more than $3 million in kratom from Botanic Tonics LLC.

The products included 250,000 liquid bottles, a tank of liquid product, more than 1,200 cartons of capsules, and more than 1,000 kilograms of bulk powder kratom. 

The government said the seized products containing kratom were manufactured by Botanic Tonics and marketed under the brand name “Feel Free Plant Based Herbal Supplement.” 

Keep reading at The Oklahoman

Kratom request falls short in Committee

The City of Alton formally banned the drug known as Kratom in March of 2018, but the current city council has been asked to take another look at its policy. The request didn’t make it far, with only two aldermen voting yes – 2nd Ward Alderwoman Carolyn MacAfee and 7th Ward Alderman Nate Keener.

In other business, ARPA Funds were approved for additional work on the Riverview Drive Project in the amount of $355,000. Twenty resolutions calling for the commencement of demolition proceedings for properties around the city were approved, and a handful of street closures were also given the green-light.

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Legislature approves ban on under-21 sales of kratom

The measure is the weaker of two proposals filed this year to add safeguards for kratom to Florida statutes.

After bouncing back and forth between the Senate and House this week, a years-in-the-making measure that would ban the sale of products made from a consumable plant called kratom to people under 21 has finally passed.

Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota County, the only local government in Florida with a kratom ban, accepted a weaker version of legislation he and Pensacola Rep. Alex Andrade carried this Session.

Both bills are named the “Kratom Consumer Protection Act.” Gruters’ bill (SB 136) was far truer to that title and included detailed processing, reporting and labeling requirements. But it was Andrade’s bill (HB 179), which only includes the age limit and a definition for “kratom products,” that could soon go to the Governor’s desk.

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House refuses amended ‘Kratom Consumer Protection Act,’ sends original version back to Senate

‘I’m asking the Senate to stick with our bill this year.’

A House bill meant to be a “first step” in regulating kratom, a consumable plant with opioid-like effects, is heading back to the Senate for reconsideration after Representatives rejected changes the upper chamber made last month.

Pensacola Rep. Alex Andrade explained that while he doesn’t disapprove in principle with the changes, which would require manufacturers to test their kratom products and register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). But they come with a cost neither contemplated in the bill nor accommodated by the next budget.

“While I’m happy to work in the future on consumer protections related to this product, I believe as to be fiscally responsible (that these revisions) would require a fee bill in conjunction,” he said. “I’m asking the Senate to stick with our bill this year.”

Keep reading at Florida Politics

Senate bounces amended ‘Kratom Consumer Protection Act’ back to House for additional vote

A relative of the coffee plant, kratom has been used for centuries as a euphoric pain reliever.

The Senate approved a House bill Thursday with new rules governing kratom, a consumable plant with opioid- and stimulant-like effects. But since the chamber amended the measure, it must pass an additional vote.

Senators voted unanimously for HB 179, titled the “Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act,” which among other things bans the sale of kratom products to people under 21 and defines the substance in state statutes.

While the bill bears Pensacola Republican Rep. Alex Andrade’s name, its language is nearly identical to a version Republican Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota carried this year. Gruters amended Andrade’s bill and tabled his own.

Keep reading at Florida Politics

Kratom crackdown: Montana House bill aims to regulate the plant

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.”

Keep reading at Q2

House member looks to establish kratom regulations, despite governor veto last summer

In previous years, a bill that would regulate kratom has been held up in the Missouri Senate and vetoed by the governor. Now, state Representative Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, has started from scratch and hopes to get his bill passed in these final four weeks of session.

Kratom is an herbal supplement that is consumed in pill form. It has a mild stimulant effect as well as provides mild pain relief for chronic aches and pains. It is also used to manage opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

“We want people to know what they’re buying,” he told Missourinet. “We want things that are sold in the marketplace that say they’re kratom to actually be 100% pure kratom, and we want to make sure that that only adults are using this.

Read more at Missourinet

Texas Considers Laws to Regulate Kratom, Drive Away ‘Charlatans’

Texas lawmakers are looking to regulate kratom this legislative session. Bills filed in both the House and Senate, if enacted, would impose age restrictions for kratom purchases, and require proper labeling,  instructions and recommended doses for products.

Kratom is a South Asian plant that can produce opioid- and stimulant-like effects. Users say the product can provide energy, soothe anxiety and depression, and help with drug addiction.

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, a Laredo Democrat; Rep. Angelia Orr, a Freestone County Republican; and Rep. J.M. Lozano, a Kingsville Republican, filed identical bills in the House and Senate to get all of this done.

Keep reading at Dallas Observer

This bill would legalize kratom in RI. What is it and why is it illegal now?

Rhode Island is one of only a handful of states where kratom, a controversial herbal substance, is illegal.

Two lawmakers, Rep. John “Jay” Edwards, D-Tiverton, and Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, D-Westerly, want to change that.

Their bill, H 5330, aims to legalize kratom and prevent adulterated products from being sold. Nicknamed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, it mirrors similar bills introduced around the country at the behest of the American Kratom Association.

Currently, kratom is legal and largely unregulated on the federal level, though there have been attempts to ban it.

What is kratom?

Kratom is typically available in powder form and is made from the dried leaves of a tree that grows in southeast Asia. Its proponents insist that it should be described as a “nutraceutical” and not a drug.

Keep reading at The Providence Journal

Mctlaw Wins Groundbreaking Judgment Holding Kratom Manufacturer Negligent for Inadequate Warnings or Instructions on Packaging

A negligence ruling by a Washington State Judge in a kratom wrongful death lawsuit is the first of its kind in the United States. Judge Gary Bashor entered a summary judgment against Society Botanicals, finding the Oregon company negligent due to “inadequate warnings and instructions” on the packaging of their product, Kratom Divine.

A negligence ruling by a Washington State Judge in a kratom wrongful death lawsuit is the first of its kind in the United States (Order on Summary Judgement – Misbranded Drugs No. 20-2-00874-08, Superior Court of WA). Judge Gary Bashor of the Superior Court of Washington For Cowlittz County entered a summary judgment against Society Botanicals, finding the Oregon company negligent due to “inadequate warnings and instructions” on the packaging of their product, Kratom Divine.

Read more at Benzinga

Governor signs into Virginia law consumer legislation to protect kratom

Virginia is the ninth state in the United States to enact legislation on the sale of Kratom.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed SB 1108, the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) into law yesterday after it passed Virginia’s House and Senate.

Kratom primarily comes from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree in Indonesia, Thailand and other parts of Asia and is usually consumed by boiling the leaves to make tea or grinding them up to put in food. An herbal supplement, Kratom has for centuries helped with pain management, energy, depression and anxiety. The KCPA regulates the manufacture and distribution of kratom, ensures and enforces proper labeling and instills age limits on its use.

Read the story at Augusta Free Press

Florida lawmakers want to regulate kratom. Here’s what you need to know.

n recent weeks, Florida legislators have taken steps toward regulating kratom, a controversial substance derived from the dried leaves of a tropical Southeast Asian tree. In recent years, its popularity has skyrocketed in the U.S., including Florida, in part because of its purported opiate-like effects and widespread availability.

Kratom is brewed into teas and mixed into sweetened mocktails. It’s sold at electronic cigarette and tobacco shops. You can purchase it at gas stations. You can order it online. You can even get it delivered on UberEats.

The substance is not specifically regulated at the federal level, but several states have passed legislation similar to what’s proposed in Florida.

Read more at the Tampa Bay Times via MSN

Gonzales Council will vote on measure to ban sale of kratom

ASCENSION PARISH – The Gonzales Council on Monday is expected to consider an amendment to the Code of Ordinances that would prohibit the sale of kratom within the city.

If approved, the measure would subject anyone in violation to a fine of up to $500 and a jail term of up to 60 days.

The proposed amendment identifies the “use of Mitragyna Speciosa Korth (Kratom)… a serious problem affecting the health and welfare of all citizens” and seeks to take “all reasonable steps” to prohibit its sale.

Numerous parish and municipal governments have taken up similar proposals in recent months, though a move to ban kratom sales in nearby Livingston Parish failed in February.

Read more at WBRZ2-ABC

Kratom ban proposed by Nevada lawmakers in AB322, sets offenses as misdemeanors

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada lawmakers are proposing a ban on kratom, an herbal opioid-like drug that “affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine, appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Kratom is produced from a plant that grows naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The FDA placed it on a list of unapproved drugs in 2012, and now reports it is actively evaluating kratom, but there are no FDA-approved uses at this time.

Assembly Bill 322 (AB322) would ban kratom unless the Nevada Board of Oriental Medicine lists it as a registered product. The bill was introduced Thursday, effectively delegating the decision to the state board on which substances will be permitted and which ones will be banned.

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Texas Senate pushes bill forward to regulate the sale of the substance Kratom

AUSTIN, Texas — Kratom seems to be popping up more at mom-and-pop health shops, convenience stores and vape shops.

These Kratom pills, which are in marked or unmarked packages, claim to offer benefits like more energy and anxiety reduction. The substance comes from Mitragyna speciosa tree which is native to Southeast Asia.

“Many people use it like as a conventional food. These people found it helped them to increase their energy and to increase focus,” said Mac Haddow, a Senior Fellow on Public Policy for the American Kratom Association

Now, the State Senate is pushing forward with a bill that would protect Texans by regulating the substance.

Keep reading at KVUE ABC

Gainesville’s kratom community weighs in on state legislation to raise the minimum age to 21

The Florida Legislature’s second recent endeavor in regulating kratom, an herbal extract that creates effects similar to stimulants and sedatives, won unanimous approval in the House of Representatives on Thursday and is on its way to the Senate.

HB 179, named the “Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act,” will establish the minimum age to purchase kratom at 21 years old where there isn’t already a set legal age.

Supporters of the bill argue that kratom has the potential to be addictive, while opponents say it is a healthier alternative to most recreational drugs. With no federal legislation on the substance as more research emerges, states are left to draft their own regulations.

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Florida lawmakers want to set the age limit for kratom use at 21

Florida lawmakers are moving forward with a bipartisan plan to regulate the use of kratom, an herbal supplement that causes opioid- and stimulant-like effects.

Florida lawmakers are moving forward with a bipartisan plan to regulate the use of kratom, an herbal supplement that causes opioid- and stimulant-like effects.

“We don’t want anybody to spike it or to cut it,” said state Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota). “We want an unadulterated, pure form going to the consumer at the end of the day.”

The Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act would ban kratom manufacturers and sellers from mixing the substance with illegal drugs and synthetic compounds. It would also set the age limit to purchase and consume kratom at 21 years old. The measure has received unanimous support in both the House and Senate as it moves through the committee process.

Right now, there are no state or federal kratom regulations.

Keep reading at Health News Florida

Kratom regulations bill heads to Florida House floor

Most states regulate kratom. Six prohibit it. Sarasota is the only Florida county to ban the substance outright.

A bill to regulate the sale of kratom, a consumable plant that affects some of the same brain receptors as morphine, is heading to a full vote by the House.

Members of the House Commerce Committee voted unanimously for a measure (HB 179) to ban the sale of kratom to people under 21.

The bill, titled the “Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act,” would also define the substance for the first time in Florida law and authorize the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services to test and verify the purity of kratom products.