Setbacks arise in effort to protect consumer market for kratom

Recent headwinds have impacted the effort to protect consumers’ continued use of kratom, including the veto of a proposed law in Missouri regulating the botanical many addicts turn to when dealing with withdrawal.

“By defining ‘kratom product’ as a ‘food product or dietary ingredient,’ Missouri would violate federal law,” reads the July 1 veto letter from Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican. Parson also wrote he believed the law isn’t needed from a label and packaging perspective because the state already regulates those areas.

C. M. “Mac” Haddow, senior fellow on public policy at the American Kratom Association (AKA), a lobbying group, said Parson’s description of kratom as federally illegal “just isn’t true” and language in the veto letter was “surprising.”

Keep reading at Natural Products Insider

Parson rejects plan to regulate kratom in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson has jettisoned a proposal designed to regulate kratom products in Missouri.

In a veto action announced earlier this month, Parson cited a number of reasons for opposing legislation that would have barred the sale of the drug to anyone younger than 18, as well as require sellers to ensure that their products do not contain dangerous substances.

Key to the Republican governor’s decision is the lack of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the substance.

In addition, Parson said in his veto message, “Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA may seize food, drugs or dietary substances that contain kratom as being adulterated or misbranded.”

Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

FDA, FTC combine to tackle opiod claims in kratom warning letters

FDA and FTC have issued four joint warning letters to kratom companies centered on opioid claims. It’s a move that comes on the heels of FDA rejecting an NDI filing on the ingredient for the sixth time.

The companies involved are Herbsens Botanicals, Klarity Kratom, Kratom Exchange and Omni Consumer Products, LLC dba YoKratom. The warning letters were the result of an online search of the companies’ websites  and social media pages conducted in May and June 2022.

The warning letters allege that the companies have been making disease treatment claims on the products, which were sold primarily in capsule form.  Among the disease treatment claims were pain relief, blood pressure and depression indications.

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4 Kratom Companies Sent FDA Warning Letters

Silver Spring, MD—On June 30, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters, jointly with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to four companies selling kratom products. FDA stated that it has not approved kratom for the treatment or cure of opioid use disorder and withdrawal symptoms.

FDA also noted that it has received “concerning reports about the safety of kratom.” The agency is “actively evaluating all available scientific information on this issue and advises consumers not to use kratom or essential oils for the treatment or cure of opioid use disorder and withdrawal symptoms.”

The 4 kratom companies receiving letters:

  • Herbsens Botanicals
  • Klarity Kratom
  • Kratom Exchange
  • Omni Consumer Products LLC d/b/a YoKratom

Read more at Whole Foods Magazine

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.


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; …

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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.


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.

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Legislature considers crackdown on kratom, a controversial herbal supplement

A Florida Senate committee on Tuesday advanced a proposal that could have major implications for the state’s kratom industry.

The measure, Senate Bill 1076, would ban the sale of kratom to Floridians younger than 21 and put in place a series of quality-control regulations around kratom products. It would also require kratom sellers to affix a label to any product with directions for suggested use. Violators would be subject to a $500 fine for a first offense, then $1,000 fines for subsequent infractions.

Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, the bill’s sponsor, said his measure would help the state crack down on unscrupulous businesses selling contaminated kratom products to customers.

“As long as it’s safe and as long as it’s marketed for what it is, I think people should have access and have the availability,” Gruters said. “We just want to eliminate the bad actors, and those people that are turning the product into something that it’s not.”

Get the full story at the Miami Herald.

Global Coalition Launches Push To Reschedule Psilocybin Under International Rules

A new global coalition announced a new campaign on Tuesday to get psilocybin mushrooms internationally rescheduled.

As the psychedelics reform movement continues to expand domestically in the U.S., the International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative (ITPRI) is seeking a worldwide policy change in order to facilitate research into the therapeutic potential of the substance.

Partners of the coalition include the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Beckley Foundation, Mind Medicine Australia, Drug Science and Open Foundation.

The initiative focuses on international drug scheduling under the United Nations’s 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, which currently places psilocybin in the most tightly restricted, Schedule I category, which is supposed to be reserved for drugs  that constitute “an especially serious risk” and have “limited” therapeutic uses.

Advocates say that psilocybin fits neither of those criteria.

Read the full story at Marijuana Moment.

World Health Organization Decides Not to Call for Global Kratom Ban

Kratom advocates are cheering a new decision from the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) not to recommend that the plant-derived substance be internationally banned following a scientific review.

There were some concerns that the WHO’s Executive Committee on Drug Dependency (ECDD) would take steps to either urge international control over kratom—which has been touted as a natural painkiller that works as a safer alternative to prescription opioids—or recommend a critical review that could have ultimately led to scheduling following another year-long inquiry.

“People report using kratom to self-medicate a variety of disorders and conditions, including pain, opioid withdrawal, opioid use disorder, anxiety and depression.”

But in a report released last week, members of ECDD voted 11-1 to simply continue monitoring data on the health impacts of kratom over the next two to three years, rather than institute strict controls.

Read the full story at Filter.

Kratom rules still elusive in Missouri, but another push planned for next year

JEFFERSON CITY — A St. Charles County lawmaker isn’t giving up his effort to regulate a plant grown in Southeast Asia and sold across Missouri.

Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, said he will reintroduce the “Kratom Consumer Protection Act” for the upcoming legislative session after the plan died in the Senate this year.

His 2021 bill barred the sale of kratom to minors and said sellers must ensure their kratom products don’t contain dangerous substances.

“It’s just a basic consumer protection measure to ensure that the product is properly labeled so that consumers know what they’re buying and that it’s only sold to adults,” Christofanelli said.

People use kratom to relieve pain, treat opioid withdrawal, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other ailments.

But kratom has also generated public health concerns, including from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which discouraged its use in 2019 because it appeared to have addictive properties.

Read more at The Post-Dispatch.

Amazon Is Lobbying the U.S. to Legalize Weed

Amazon is ramping up its pro-weed campaign, announcing on Tuesday that it is actively lobbying for legislative reforms aimed at decriminalization and reaffirming its commitment to not screening job applicants for cannabis.

Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of human resources, declared in a blog post the company’s support for two pieces of legislation aimed at decriminalizing cannabis nationwide. The move comes amid expanding legalization at the state level, with 36 states allowing some level of public access to cannabis and 18 states plus Washington, DC, legalizing recreational adult use.

The first is the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act), introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, which would remove cannabis from the federal government’s list of controlled substances, effectively decriminalizing it at the federal level.

Keep reading at Gizmodo.

Psychedelic drugs in Vermont: A grassroots push for legalization picks up on lawmakers’ effort

As a January 2020 bill to decriminalize certain hallucinogenic drugs in Vermont currently sits in committee, a grassroots petition was recently started to “legalize psychedelics for mental health in Vermont.”

Garnering over 260 signatures over the past two weeks, the petition cites research from the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research as evidence of the safety and mental health benefits of psychedelic drugs. Johns Hopkins has found that psilocybin, also known as “magic mushrooms,” can help relieve depression, anxiety, nicotine addiction, and alcohol dependency.

The petition urges Vermont to follow in the steps of other parts of the country that have decriminalized certain psychedelics, which include Oregon; Denver; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Santa Cruz, California; and Washington, D.C.

Continue reading at Burlington Free Press.

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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