Is Kratom Legal in Arkansas in 2023?

Arkansas is the home state of Bill Clinton and the first-ever Walmart store. It is also the only state in the United States that has a diamond field. The Crater of Diamonds State Park allows visitors to mine their own diamonds and is the only place in the world that allows visitors to keep them.

But how about kratom? Can you buy kratom and keep it in Arkansas? Or can you come to mine your diamonds and bring your kratom with you?

Is Kratom Legal in Arkansas?

Kratom is not legal in Arkansas at the moment. In 2015, the Arkansas authorities amended the controlled substances act and included kratom among Schedule I drugs.

Therefore, no businesses in Arkansas can sell kratom, vendors cannot ship it to Arkansas, and state residents and visitors aren’t allowed to possess, buy, or import kratom into Arkansas.

Incompliance with kratom legality laws in Arkansas is a felony:

  • possessing kratom can lead to up to 20 years in jail or up to $15,000 in fines,
  • being charged with possessing up to 2 grams of kratom within 1000 feet of facilities such as parks, schools, daycare centers, colleges, university campuses, places of worship, shelters, school bus stops, public housing centers, or more, can lead to additional 10 years in jail.

Scheduling Kratom

In October 2015, the Arkansas Senate passed a bill that included kratom in the controlled substances list under Schedule I drugs. Legislators amended the previous bill and added mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine under “Opium Derivatives” along with heroin, codeine, and morphine.

Kratom was targeted after a certain doctor notified the Arkansas Department of Health that kratom exhibited opioid agonist actions. So, the authorities chose to ban kratom because it did not have any medical use according to the FDA.

The other substances that the Arkansas Senate included in the amended controlled substance list were synthetic.

Sadly there are two inaccuracies in these statements. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are not opium derivatives. They are kratom alkaloids which makes them kratom derivatives. Opium derivatives come from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) while kratom or Mitragyna speciosa is a plant from coffee, Rubiaceae, family. Those aren’t one and the same.

In addition to that, kratom does target opioid receptors in the brain. Yet, the mechanism of doing so is different from that of opioids. Kratom is a partial opioid agonist with no negative consequences such as respiratory depression that opioids produce. Meanwhile, heroin and morphine, for instance, are full opioid agonists. As a partial opioid agonist. kratom combines the properties of both opioid agonist and opioid antagonist, rendering it a different plant.

Unfortunately, the kratom ban is still active in Arkansas making the lives of many people harder.

Kratom Activism and Reversing the Ban

Social media pages on platforms like Facebook and petitions to reverse the ban have taken place in the state; however, none have been successful until now. The pandemic may have slowed things down, but the American Kratom Association is not ready to give up and is handling contacts with state legislators.

If you would like to help, you can review the AKA advocacy toolkit and donate so that the organization can continue its work.

Where to Buy Kratom in Arkansas?

Currently, it is illegal to buy kratom in Arkansas.

We believe that the kratom ban may negatively affect your quality of life and feel deeply sorry for the situation. However, if you are located in Arkansas, we advise you not to try to acquire kratom or import it into the state.

Doing so may negatively affect your legal situation and can hurt the reputation of kratom. This could lead to a nationwide kratom ban and hurt more people. The AKA is working to lobby the Kratom Consumer Protection Act and restore kratom legality in the state. If you reside in Arkansas, you can support the organization through advocacy and donations.

For more information on kratom legality in the U.S. as well as the latest updated kratom legality map, you can refer to this post on our blog

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