Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act Explained

Capitol building in Washington DC, where bills like the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act are being reviewed

On December 20, 2022, the United States Senate and House of Representatives introduced the “Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act” (S.5316 & H.R.9634). This piece of legislation intends to protect access to kratom products. U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), as well as Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), sponsored it.

What Is the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act?

The Act is a bill sponsored by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Mark Pocan (D-WI). It seeks to classify kratom as “food, dietary supplements, and dietary ingredients” as defined by The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is a set of laws. They give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to oversee the safety of products such as food, supplements, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices.

Just like the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, the Act intends to keep kratom safe. This would protect access to kratom by making it on par with other products within those three categories at the federal level. However, it doesn’t render a final verdict on the legality of kratom in the United States.

Furthermore, the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act would ensure kratom cannot be treated as an “adulterated dietary supplement” subject to additional regulatory measures.

For the time being, current state-level legislation will remain unchanged by the Act. Thus, in the states and municipalities that include kratom in the controlled substances list, kratom will remain illegal.

What Does the Act Aim to Accomplish?

On December 21, 2022, the American Kratom Association (AKA) issued a press release. In it, Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI) explained the purpose of the Act. According to him, it aims to “prevent the criminalization of kratom consumers and distributors while promising scientific research is conducted.”

All three of the Act’s primary sponsors have continually expressed their sympathy for kratom users in the US. Many of them live in regions where kratom is illegal. The proposed legislation will protect access to kratom by ensuring federal agencies will not unjustly limit users’ access to kratom products.

The Act calls for a series of public hearings. Moreover, it requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to assess scientific data related to kratom. Leading researchers will be called upon to present the health risks and potential benefits of Mitragyna speciosa.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will also facilitate a “Kratom Research Task Force.” It will conduct further kratom research on behalf of the Federal Government. The HHS Task Force will also update Congress on a quarterly basis with any new findings from ongoing studies related to kratom.

The introduction of the Act, and the commitment of federal lawmakers to respecting the latest scientific data on kratom, will effectively counteract misinformation about kratom products.

Moving forward, any new legislation related to kratom will depend on the Act. Lawmakers will need to acknowledge the findings of the HHS Kratom Research Task Force when introducing new bills. This means that debunked studies and spurious claims about kratom will no longer hold sway over legislation if they counter the findings of the HHS Task Force.

Kratom 101

Kratom is a botanical, also known as Mitragyna speciosa. It’s a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia.

Kratom is most often available for purchase in its raw botanical form as a crushed leaf powder. Users rely on the plant to relieve discomfort, help boost mood, and maintain overall wellness.

The life-improving effects of kratom are consistently noted by folks who use the herb regularly. Therefore, many of the ongoing efforts to protect access to kratom have been driven by the grassroots advocacy of the users themselves.

The History of Kratom Legality Battles

Several attempts have been made to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled drug. In 2016 and 2018, advocacy groups and scientific organizations were able to protect access to kratom. They halted the efforts of federal agencies to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 substance.

In both cases, the agencies seeking to ban kratom failed to provide substantial scientific evidence to back their criticism of the plant. Moreover, the HHS didn’t back a federal kratom ban. It cited the lack of evidence of the dangers of kratom to public health as the reason for its decision.

In 2021, the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence determined kratom did not meet the criteria for international scheduling and regulation. The committee consisted of twelve independent scientists from different countries. Their task was to review all available scientific data on kratom. Their findings confirmed that kratom is benign in its natural form and need not be treated as a controlled substance.

This explains why the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act places such a high value on the scientific consensus around the usefulness and side effects of kratom. To date, every reputable study has confirmed user reports on the benefits of kratom.

In the future, American lawmakers will have to acknowledge the federally sanctioned scientific consensus on the nature of kratom. They will no longer be able to cite lackluster research that runs counter to that consensus.

User Reports and Ongoing Advocacy

“I have heard countless stories of the benefits of kratom experienced by consumers across the country. This includes veterans, law enforcement officials, and everyday Americans who credit kratom with saving their lives,” said Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). He’s one of the primary sponsors of the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act.

In the American Kratom Association’s December 21 press release, Lee went on to say, “This legislation that we introduced today will be life-changing for these Americans. The FDA needs to fulfill its duty to protect consumers, not abuse their powers in ways the Congress never intended.”

User reports of the effectiveness of kratom have consistently echoed the scientific consensus on the plant. Natural, lab-tested kratom improves individual well-being and presents little to no danger to users. This message has emerged from the kratom community, combined with the efforts of advocacy groups.

The American Kratom Association and related organizations have effectively conveyed this message to U.S. lawmakers. Their efforts have now resulted in the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act.

Kraoma: Supporting the Kratom Community Since 2014

Kraoma is committed to supporting the kratom community in the United States. We provide premium quality, lab-tested kratom and offer ongoing support of kratom advocacy both at the state and federal levels. Learn more about the legal status of kratom and shop our kratom today.

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