Oregon Gov. Kate Brown plans to veto bills related to mental health oversight, kratom sales

Gov. Kate Brown intends to veto two bills approved during the recent Oregon Legislature session.

Brown’s office announced Sunday that she will reject Senate Bill 721. It changes the way members are selected for a consumer advisory council that helps the Oregon Health Authority deal with mental health and substance abuse. The bill would allow members of the advisory council to select future members and refines its advisory role in an attempt to ensure consumers have a voice in how mental health and substance abuse policies are crafted and enforced.

The governor’s office says the legislation is well intentioned, but contradicts federal law, which prohibits the Oregon Health Authority from delegating its responsibility over implementing Medicaid policies.

Sponsors plan to submit a revised bill.

Read more at OPB.org.

FDA Seeks Public Input On Possible Global Kratom Ban After Domestic Scheduling Effort Stalled

After failing to get kratom prohibited domestically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now seeking public comment to inform the U.S. position on how the substance should be scheduled under international statute.

In a notice published in the Federal Register last week, the agency is soliciting feedback on a number of substances. But advocates are especially concerned about where FDA and global drug officials come down on kratom, which has been touted as a natural painkiller that works as a safer alternative to prescription opioids.

The U.S. agency doesn’t quite see it that way, however.

“Kratom is abused for its ability to produce opioid-like effects,” FDA wrote in the notice. “Kratom is available in several different forms to include dried/crushed leaves, powder, capsules, tablets, liquids, and gum/ resin. Kratom is an increasingly popular drug of abuse and readily available on the recreational drug market in the United States.”

Read more at marijuanamoment.net.

Kratom Controversy — What is kratom?

Kratom products are sold everywhere from smoke shops to gas stations, and even specialized stores.

Proponents of the herbal supplement claim it can help with a lack of energy, focus or even a natural alternative to pain medication and opioids but the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t agree and is warning people not to buy it.

Grown mainly in southeast Asia, kratom looks like an average house plant. Mac Haddow, with the American Kratom Association says the plant can be used for a number of health reasons.

“It has been used there for centuries by mostly laborers who would pick the leaves from the trees which grow everywhere,” Haddow said. “They would chew on him for an energy boost and increase focus and some, because of the long hot days they were working, would use it in order to as an analgesic to relieve pain”.

Read more at CBS19.

Campaign for legal kratom use nears goal

After being listed as an illegal narcotic for many decades, Thais will finally be allowed to use and own Mitragyna speciosa, also known as kratom, as traditional medicine by August this year.

On May 28, an announcement was made in the Royal Gazette which effectively removed the plant from the list of narcotics. As new laws take effect 90 days after their publication in the Gazette, kratom use and possession will be effectively decriminalised on Aug 24.

Prior to its decriminalisation, kratom was categorised as a Class 5 Narcotic substance under the Narcotics Act, which made consuming, cultivating and possessing any part of the plant illegal.

Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsutin, said the move the regulate kratom does not end with its decriminalisation, as the parliament is now working on new laws to manage and control the cultivation and use of the plant.

Read more at the Bangkok Post.

Company contests FDA’s position in lawsuit that kratom is an NDI

A firm linked to a government seizure of $1.3 million in kratom products denied in federal court that the botanical is a new dietary ingredient (NDI).

The “affirmative defense” raised by MT Brands LLC asserts the “articles” seized were marketed in the U.S. before Oct. 15, 1994.

Dietary ingredients marketed before the above date are not subject to a notification requirement in the law to demonstrate their safety to FDA.

For several years, FDA has raised concerns over kratom, a botanical from Southeast Asia which has long been the subject of an import alert. Although several companies aiming to lawfully market kratom in dietary supplements have submitted to FDA premarket NDI notifications, the agency has essentially rejected all of them, citing safety concerns and other considerations.

Read more at Natural Products Insider.

Thailand: Kratom officially removed from being Category V Narcotics and draft Kratom Act to be presented to Parliament

By way of background, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) Havil.) is a tropical tree with opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects, and was previously controlled under the Narcotics Act due to these properties and effects.

On 26 May 2021, the Amendment to the Narcotics Act (the “Amendment”) was published in the Government Gazette. The Amendment, once effective after 90 days from its publication, will remove kratom from being Category V Narcotics. The rationale behind this Amendment is to make the regulation of kratom in line with the position of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended, and the local customs in some areas where kratom is consumed.

Following the removal of kratom from the list of Category V Narcotics, on 1 June 2021, the Cabinet approved the amended draft of the Kratom Act to be considered for presentation to the Parliament.

Read the full story at lexology.com.

Ex-FDA Head Falsely Claims Kratom Is “Fueling” the Overdose Crisis

Drug warriors have long deployed disinformation to justify panics and crackdowns. Kratom, an unregulated plant-based product used by many to manage opioid consumption and withdrawals, has not been spared.

On May 21, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb spread a baseless claim on social media with a call to criminalize kratom consumers and obstruct access for people with opioid use disorder (OUD).

“I’m convinced [kratom is] fueling the opioid addiction crisis,” Gottlieb posted on Twitter, followed by a call for the Biden Administration to finish the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 2016 scheduling effort that failed in the face of consumer advocacy and public opposition. 

Dr. Gottlieb’s statement came in response to a series of tweets by both the official FDA account and that of the agency’s current acting commissioner, Dr. Janet Woodcock.

Read the full article at Filter Mag

Kratom no longer on drugs list

The Kratom plant has been removed from a list of narcotics listed under the amended Narcotics Act.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said the Act has been modified and the new version was published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday to annul the plant’s narcotics status.

The amendment will take effect on Aug 24, Mr Somsak said.

He thanked the organisations involved in pushing for the plant’s removal from the list, noting Kratom is a part of local people’s lifestyle.

However, cultivation of the plant will still be restricted until a new law to regulate kratom plantations is enacted, the justice minister said.

He said this legislation, also known as the Kratom Law, will detail how the plant is allowed to be used.

Keep reading at MSN

A Twitter Tiff Between Former Federal Health Officials Highlights the Weakness of the Case for Banning Kratom

Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says he is “convinced” that kratom, a pain-relieving leaf from Southeast Asia, is “fueling the opioid addiction crisis.” To the contrary, kratom enthusiasts argue, the plant is “the cure for the opioid epidemic.”

There is not much evidence to support either position. But as a recent Twitter tiff between Gottlieb and former Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir shows, the argument about whether the federal government should ban kratom hinges on the question of where the burden of proof belongs.

Gottlieb seems to think any potentially dangerous psychoactive substance should be banned unless it meets the FDA’s strict criteria for approval as a medicine. If a drug is not explicitly permitted, in other words, it should be prohibited by default.

Continue reading at reason.com

U.S. Marshals seized more than 207,000 units of adulterated dietary supplements containing kratom

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that U.S. Marshals, at the agency’s request, seized more than 207,000 units of dietary supplements and bulk dietary ingredients that are or contain kratom, including over 34,000 kilograms of bulk kratom. The dietary supplements are manufactured by Atofil, LLC, which is located in Fort Myers, Florida, and is a subsidiary of Premier Manufacturing Products. The dietary supplements are marketed under the brand names Boosted Kratom, The Devil’s Kratom, Terra Kratom, Sembuh, Bio Botanical, and El Diablo. The seized products are worth approximately $1.3 million.

There is substantial concern regarding the safety of kratom, the risk it may pose to public health and its potential for abuse. The FDA will continue to exercise our full authority under the law to take action against these adulterated dietary supplements as part of our ongoing commitment to protect the health of the American people. Further, there are currently no FDA-approved uses for kratom.”

Keep reading at news-medical.net

Ashdown police warning citizens that ‘Kratom’ is illegal in Arkansas

The Ashdown Police Department has seen an increase in the number of people in possession of an illegal substance known as Kratom.

According to APD, Kratom, which is also called Mitragyna Speciosa, is a schedule 1 controlled substance which makes it a felony offense to possess it in the state of Arkansas.

Mitragyna Speciosa, or Kratom, is a plant which grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

Kratom affects the opioid brain receptors as morphine which exposes the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence. There are no FDA approved uses for Kratom.

Kratom is used in many ways, the most common are pills, capsules, crushed and smoked, brewed as tea, or by chewing the raw leaves.

Read more at arklatexhomepage.com

Is Kratom Legal In Florida?

The legality of Kratom in the US is somewhat vague and controversial. Some states have the liberty to enjoy the varied benefits associated with Kratom, while others have to avoid crossing paths with the law. Do you live in Florida or have just paid vacation to the sunshine city? If so, is Kratom legal in Florida?

Generally speaking, the Floridians have had the liberty to buy, carry, and consume Kratom within the state of Florida apart from residents of Sarasota County.

The legality of Kratom in Florida

Florida is one of the several states that have remained steadfast in allowing citizens to exercise their liberties as far as Kratom is concerned. Today, possession of Mitragyna speciosa in whichever form you prefer is like having your Smartphone so long as you are not within the boundaries of the defiant Sarasota County.

Keep reading at thekatynews.com.

This Plant Is Changing Lives, and It’s Not Weed

It’s official: cannabis legalization has completely changed the wellness paradigm.

It’s become a tidal wave that is upending public perceptions regarding the responsible use of plant-based substances.

This evolving landscape has prompted new discussions about how to use all-natural supplements to enhance everyday life. One company that is leading the charge amidst the herbal revolution is Kats Botanicals, a US-based supplier of unique, plant-derived products that are quickly catching on as alternatives to traditional wellness enhancers.

Among these products is something called Kratom—the informal name of the plant species Mitragyna Speciosa. It is not a stretch to say that Kratom is positively changing the lives of millions of people throughout the world, and in this article, we’re going to explain why this is happening by tapping the expertise of Kats Botanicals Founder and CEO, Justin Kats.

Continue at Riverfront Times.

Kratom group says CBD regulatory experience offers some lessons

The history of the CBD trade in the US provides a peek into the strategy that kratom proponents may pursue with the goal of a legal trade in the botanical without regulatory impediments, an executive in an advocacy group says.

Mac Haddow, senior fellow on public policy for the American Kratom Association (AKA), said the state-by-state strategy followed by the proponents of medical marijuana and CBD is one that could work for his organization, too.

“FDA is stretching its regulatory authority in its effort to demonize kratom,”​ Haddow told NutraIngredients-USA.

Maintaining access through the states

Haddow said FDA’s campaign against the botanical, based on what AKA characterizes as ‘incomplete’ information, has had some success.  But when AKA brings the full suite of scientific information on the botanical to the table, the results are unequivocal.

“Six states banned the substance, but those were all based on inaccurate or incomplete information at best,”​ he said.

Continue at nutraingredients-usa.com

Bill seeks to regulate kratom products in Oregon

“Kratom for sale here!” blare signs in front of convenience stores around the state. For the uninitiated, these signs are a bit puzzling, but for those in the know, kratom is serious business.

Kratom, pronounced in various ways, is the name of a tree in the coffee family, found in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Thailand. Traditionally, the leaves were chewed or made into tea to help people stay alert and productive.

Some substances in kratom work on the opioid receptors in the brain.

In recent years, extracts from kratom leaves have become a popular herbal remedy, which users say can help with pain, fatigue or opioid withdrawals.

The Food and Drug Administration, however, disagrees and considers the substance dangerous. In 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, “There is no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use.”

Read more at Oregon Live.

Phil Christofanelli is headlining this legislative session

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In the midst of the typical legislative drama and COVID-19 derailments, Rep. Phil Christofanelli has deftly risen as a young star of the Missouri Republican Party.

He’s not a member of House leadership, and it’s only the start of his third term. But while the Senate stalled debate on a massive education reform package after erroneously perfecting the wrong version of the bill — and the House seems unable to garner enough support for a charter expansion bill — Christofanelli quietly emerged victorious with his education savings account (ESA) bill.

Christofanelli, 31, also snagged a lucrative committee chairmanship with the Rules-Legislative Oversight Committee and passed another bill related to the sale of kratom products over to the upper chamber.

And he’s done it all before the midway point of the legislative session.

Keep reading at The Missouri Times.

What is Kratom and Why Did the UK Ban It?

Before you take any medicine, it is important to do your research and understand everything you need to know about it. This is especially crucial if you have heard about Kratom and considered using it. Kratom is a natural and traditionally used medicine that grows and exists as part of a tree. The effects it has on the brain are similar to opioid painkillers, which has led to people using it as a recreational drug. The side effects and addictiveness of the plant are recognized by doctors and many countries and states are or already have banned products that contain Kratom. It has not been made completely legal because more research is required to understand how and why it works in the way it does. To help you understand more, here is what we know about Kratom and why it was banned in the UK. 

The History of Kratom 

Kratom was used for medicinal purposes tens of thousands of years ago, but it wasn’t officially unearthed until the early 19th century and is still relatively popular today.

Keep reading at About Manchester.

Kratom will be illegal in SD for those under 21

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While you can find it in convenience stores and specialty shops on almost every corner in Sioux Falls, kratom will now be illegal for anyone under the age of 21 in South Dakota.

KELOLAND News investigates has brought you a series of reports on the controversial plant from Southeast Asia, which typically comes in pill or powdered form. It’s more than a billion dollar business and the supplement acts as a stimulant on the brain at low doses and at higher doses has an opioid effect.

According to a CDC report, the substance has been linked to overdose deaths across the country.
Brian Helmbrecht’s brother, Jake, died of a kratom overdose in 2020; one of three last year linked to kratom.

Brian testified in favor of the bill in the South Dakota legislature to raise the minimum age for purchasing kratom to 21.

Keep reading at Keloland.com.

Senate passes bill removing kratom from narcotics list

The Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment bill removing kratom from the narcotics list in its third reading, a step closer to households being allowed to grow up to three kratom trees each for daily use, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said on Tuesday.

Mr Somsak said the next step is for the Senate speaker to forward the bill to the House speaker, who would submit it to the cabinet. The cabinet send the legislation to His Majesty the King for final approval. He did not give details of how the Senate voted in approving it. 

The bill will become law 90 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette.

Mr Somsak said supplementary laws would regulate the cultivation, possession, use and sale of kratom. The draft regulations were being considered by the Council of State, the government’s legal advisory body.

Keep reading at Bangkok Post.

Missouri House approves plan to regulate kratom

The Missouri House endorsed legislation Thursday requiring more regulations for kratom products.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, 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.

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.

While there are stores that specialize in selling kratom — as powder, in capsules, taffies and extracts — it’s also available to buy online and at convenience stores that sell items that are supposed to be consumed in moderation.

Continue at stltoday.com.