It seems like yesterday no one knew about the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). Now, it’s a hot topic as a growing number of US states are either reviewing or passing it.
Despite appearing seemingly out of nowhere, it has actually been in development for quite a while. Let’s take a look at what the KCPA is, who’s behind it, whether we need it, and why.
What Is the Kratom Consumer Protection Act?
The KCPA is legislation that aims to regulate the kratom trade in the United States and protect the kratom community. It covers the following topics:
- Manufacturing, distribution, sale, and possession of kratom,
- Manufacturing, distribution, and sale of contaminated or adulterated kratom,
- Age limits,
- Fines and penalties for breaking the law,
- Testing Mitragyna speciosa for quality and purity, and
- Labeling kratom products.
The purpose of the KCPA is to ensure that kratom vendors only sell kratom plant material that’s pure and high quality. This will prevent instances of contamination and other negative occurrences with kratom.
What Does the Kratom Consumer Protection Act Include?
The KCPA has standard text. However, individual states can amend it and develop their own version of it that better suits each state’s agenda.
Nonetheless, these are some of the regulations that this bill includes:
- Prohibit the sale of Mitragyna speciosa to minors, i.e., anyone under the age of 18 or 21,
- Set a fee to register a kratom vendor and products with the local Department of Agriculture,
- Disclose the presence of kratom or its alkaloids in food items,
- Prohibit the sale of kratom products that have been adulterated and/or contaminated with any dangerous substance(s) that aren’t kratom,
- Disallow any kratom leaf products that are packed with or contain dangerous substance(s). These substances can affect the strength and/or quality of kratom in a way that can hurt or injure the customer,
- Prohibit any kratom products that are mixed with or packed with any substance(s) scheduled in the respective state,
- Forbid the sale of any kratom product that has more than 2% 7-hydroxymitragynine,
- Prohibit the sale of any kratom product that contains synthetic kratom alkaloids or a synthetic version of any other natural kratom compound,
- Label the kratom product and display the ingredients and the origin of kratom,
- Disclose the amount of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in each kratom product.
If kratom vendors don’t comply with these regulations, they face fines or even criminal charges. For instance, they may need to pay a fine that can be up to $1000 dollars. Certain violations may also lead to 90 days of imprisonment.
Keep in mind, however, that if your state passes the KCPA, it may not be identical to what we’ve listed above. Since states can modify it, the version in your location may differ.
Who’s Behind It, and How Did it Come to Be?
The fight against kratom started around 2013. That’s when the first bills to ban Mitragyna speciosa were introduced. A few years later, the DEA issued a statement announcing its intent of immediate scheduling of kratom.
Thankfully, the DEA did not go through with a nationwide ban. This was due to activism by the American Kratom Association (AKA), the Botanical Education Alliance (BEA), and thousands of kratom supporters.
A petition against the kratom ban gathered over 145,000 signatures, and the White House received over 6,000 letters about the herb. A comment section allowed by the White House received over 23,000 comments, 99% of which were positive.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t recognize kratom. As a result, there are no regulations that vendors would need to comply with. This has led to several incidents of contaminated or adulterated kratom reaching the market.
Therefore, the AKA and the BEA sought ways in which they could improve the kratom experience for consumers.
So, both organizations developed the KCPA and started lobbying it to lawmakers in different states of the USA.
March 26, 2019, marked the start of an uphill battle for kratom legality in the USA. Utah became the first state to pass the new legislation. More states are reviewing it.
Do We Need the KCPA and Why?
Yes, we do. Kratom isn’t regulated statewide. This means that it all comes down to each individual vendor’s stance and motivation. Some care about delivering the highest quality product to their customers. Others, however, care about their own profits more.
There are plenty of vendors that sell old, low-quality, or even fake or adulterated kratom. Not all old, low-quality, and fake kratom is dangerous. Nonetheless, there shouldn’t be a reason for customers to pay for something that isn’t delivering the results that they are looking for.
There are vendors who label and advertise kratom incorrectly. For instance, they may state that the product provides effects that have nothing to do with kratom.
Such actions not only put kratom buyers at risk but also can severely damage the reputation of kratom. This eventually can lead to a nationwide kratom ban.
If passed, the Kratom Consumer Protection Act becomes state law. This means that merchants must comply with it and ensure that they only offer completely natural, clean, and quality kratom for sale.
Therefore, the KCPA isn’t just good news. It’s wonderful news!
Are you interested in knowing what states are currently reviewing or have passed the KCPA? Check out our kratom legality post. We update it as soon as we learn any news on the topic.