In the past year or so, the number of online kratom stores and retail shops verifying customers’ ages before they are able to browse the website or purchase kratom has risen. Why did these age verification steps become so common? And how old do you have to be to buy kratom?
- Overview of Kratom Age Limits & Laws
- Minimum Age to Buy Kratom In Each State
- Criminal Charges For Violating Kratom Age Requirements
- Why Kratom Age Restrictions Are Important
- Age Regulations In Other Natural Product Industries
More and more states are creating laws to restrict kratom sales to minors. They aim to prevent minors and young adults from buying kratom online, in-stores, and in settings like kava bars.
In some states, the laws go beyond just adding an extra few clicks to your online shopping adventures. They may also criminalize underage consumers.
If you’re trying to buy kratom in your home state, or if you plan on flying with kratom or bringing kratom across state lines, it’s important to familiarize yourself with local and national kratom age laws.
What Is the Minimum Age to Buy Kratom in the United States?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a standard minimum age to buy kratom in the United States. The answer to, “how old do you have to be to buy kratom?” is different for each state. Some states have set limits on the legal age to buy kratom, but about half of US states have not.
Below, we’ll walk you through the reasons why there are no federal age restrictions for kratom and how old you have to be to buy kratom in each US state.
We’ll also discuss the legal consequences for vendors and customers that violate any kratom age laws. Then, we’ll go over why these age restrictions on kratom exist to begin with.
Additionally, we’ll discuss how kratom age restrictions compare to restrictions on other natural products and compounds, like CBD or creatine.
Keep in mind, kratom exists in a legal landscape that is frequently changing. The list of state kratom laws and the kratom legality map may not be updated to reflect the most recent changes. The information in this post should not be taken as legal advice.
To avoid any sticky legal situations, stay informed about new laws enacted in your state. Further, check for any recent updates before traveling with kratom to other states. In some states where kratom is legal, certain towns and counties have established local restrictions on the sale and possession of kratom.
National Age Limit for Buying Kratom
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t recognize kratom as an approved food or dietary supplement. Thus, the federal government has not passed any national regulatory legislation for kratom.
Accordingly, there is no federal minimum age to buy kratom in the United States.
However, individual states have passed legislation regulating age of purchase and possession of kratom. So while there isn’t any national minimum age to buy kratom, you still can’t purchase kratom in every state if you are under a certain age.
Does the Kratom Consumer Protection Act Set a Legal Age Limit for Kratom?
In response to the lack of federal regulation of kratom, the American Kratom Association (AKA) developed a legislative framework for regulating the manufacture and sale of kratom products. This legislation is called the Kratom Consumer Protection (KCPA).
Overall, the AKA’s KCPA framework sets requirements for product manufacturing, product labeling, and sales. Since its inception, the KCPA has gone through numerous iterations. It was first passed in Utah in 2019. As the science and sociopolitical issues have progressed, the bill has been updated.
Not every KCPA or kratom law is the same. For instance, Florida established a Kratom Consumer Protection Act in 2023 that did not include any manufacturing or labeling guidelines.
A few states, like West Virginia, have drafted their own unique legislation to regulate kratom production and sales. Other states, like Minnesota, have added kratom to pre-existing laws which address numerous plants and compounds together, not kratom alone.
Main Components of Kratom Laws
While each state has a unique set of regulatory requirements, they generally mandate that:
- Product Purity: Kratom vendors may not sell adulterated or contaminated kratom products.
- Alkaloid Composition: Manufacturers cannot produce products that exceed a certain concentration of alkaloids found in kratom leaves.
- Labeling Requirements: Products must be accurately labeled. Manufacturers must include certain safety warnings and disclaimers.
- Age Restrictions: Vendors and retailers may not sell kratom to individuals under a certain age. Approximately half of states set the minimum at 18. The other half has opted for 21.
More than 10 states have passed a KCPA bill so far. Many others are actively considering the KCPA or drafting distinctive forms of kratom regulation.
The AKA has created a map of states that have passed the KCPA or similar laws. It isn’t updated consistently throughout the year, but can give you a general idea of what legislation is in progress or has been established throughout the country.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Kratom in Each State?
Every state that regulates kratom has established a minimum legal age to buy it. Currently, there are 8 states in which you have to be at least 18 to buy kratom and 7 states in which you have to be 21.
30 states have not established a legal age to buy kratom. 5 states have banned the sale of kratom entirely, not just for minors.
States Where The Legal Age to Buy Kratom Is 18
For the following states, the answer to the question, “how old do you have to be to buy kratom” is 18. A few of these states are considering changing the age restriction for kratom from 18 to 21 this year, so make sure to keep track of any changes your state makes.
- Arizona: The Arizona KCPA requires you to be 18 or older to buy kratom in the state. Arizona was one of the first states to pass the KCPA and prohibit the sale of kratom to minors.
- Georgia: Georgia passed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in 2019, which restricts kratom sales to individuals 18 and up. Currently, the Georgia legislature is considering a bill that would increase the legal age to buy kratom from 18 to 21.
- Illinois: In 2014, Illinois passed the Kratom Control Act, which set a minimum age requirement of 18 to purchase kratom products. While kratom is legal in most of Illinois, the municipalities of Jerseyville, Alton, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Edwardsville, and Wood River have banned it. It is a misdemeanor for anyone to sell or give kratom products to minors, for minors to use false identification to buy kratom, or for minors to knowingly possess kratom in Illinois.
- Minnesota: You must be 18 years old to buy kratom in Minnesota. Sale of kratom to minors is considered a gross misdemeanor, and possession of kratom by minors is a regular misdemeanor. Aside from the charges for kratom possession and sale to minors, kratom is not yet regulated in the state.
- Nevada: Nevada passed Assembly Bill 303 in 2019. This NV kratom law prohibits the sale of kratom to anyone under 18.
- Oklahoma: Oklahoma enacted the KCPA in 2021. You must be 18 years or older to buy kratom in Oklahoma.
- Texas: Kratom is regulated by the Texas Kratom
Consumer Health and Safety Protection Act. The minimum age to buy kratom in Texas is 18.
- Utah: Utah was the first state to enact the KCPA. In addition to establishing a minimum age limit, the Utah KCPA mandates that products cannot be flavored or packaged in a way that appeals to children.
States Where You Must Be 21 to Buy Kratom
In these states, the required legal age to buy kratom is 21.
- Florida: Florida enacted the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in 2023. It solely sets age restrictions and doesn’t regulate product quality or labeling. In Florida, you now have to be 21 years or older to buy kratom. This rule applies to both retail sales and kava bars.
- Louisiana: The minimum age to buy kratom in Louisiana is 21, for the most part. However, certain Louisiana parishes have prohibited the sale and possession of kratom altogether.
- Oregon: In Oregon, it is illegal to sell kratom to anyone under the age of 21. The Oregon kratom law does not create any criminals penalties for possession of kratom for underage consumers.
- South Dakota: The minimum age to buy kratom in South Dakota is 21. Sale to and possession of kratom in South Dakota for individuals under 21 is considered a misdemeanor.
- Tennessee: In Tennessee, anyone 21 and up can buy kratom. Kratom was originally banned in Tennessee, but the Attorney General ruled that the language of the ban applied only to synthetic kratom. Tennessee’s kratom regulations were created via amendment to the state’s controlled substances code.
- Virginia: You must be 21 years or older to buy kratom in Virginia as per the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.
- West Virginia: West Virginia passed SB 220 which established the Select Plant-Derived Regulation Act: Kratom in 2023. Kratom is legal for those 21 years or older in West Virginia. The WV kratom law specifically requires online vendors to have an age verification step on their website.
States Without A Minimum Age to Buy Kratom
How old do you have to be to buy kratom in the remaining states? The answer is that there isn’t an age restriction for half of the country. That being said, many kratom retailers in these states may still choose to restrict kratom sales to minors.
- Alaska: In 2022, Alaska’s Controlled Substances Advisory Subcommittee (CSAC) recommended that Governor Dunleavy schedule kratom. However, as of 2024, kratom remains legal.
- California: Kratom is currently legal for all ages in most of California. At least one bill to regulate kratom will be introduced in early 2024. San Diego and Oceanside, California have made kratom illegal.
- Colorado: Colorado passed a KCPA bill a few years ago, but it doesn’t go into effect until July of 2024. After July, kratom will be prohibited for anyone under 21. The sale of kratom is banned in the towns of Parker and Monument, and there are also some restrictions on the sale of kratom in Denver.
- Connecticut: Connecticut legislators have proposed regulating the age to buy kratom, but no laws have been enacted.
- Delaware: No laws to regulate kratom have been enacted in Delaware.
- Hawaii: In 2020, Hawaii senators introduced a bill to amend their controlled substances act and add kratom to Schedule V. This bill never made it out of its assigned Senate committees. A couple of regulatory bills have been introduced as well, but have not been passed.
- Idaho: ID House Bill 168 was introduced in 2021 to regulate kratom. It didn’t include any restrictions on age of purchase. Nevertheless, the bill died in the Agricultural Affairs committee.
- Iowa: In 2014 the Iowa House introduced IA HF2355 to ban kratom by classifying it as a Schedule I controlled substance. This bill was never passed, and no other legislation has since been passed in Iowa.
- Kansas: A bill to regulate kratom, HB 2188, was introduced in 2023, but not passed. It would have prohibited the sale of kratom to anyone under age 18.
- Kentucky: The Kentucky House introduced House Bill 142 to attempt to add kratom to the KY controlled substances act in 2022. The bill was not passed.
- Maine: In 2017, LD 1546 was introduced to add mitragynine and a few other compounds to the list of Schedule W controlled substances. However, the bill was amended before passage and kratom was not included in the final draft of the Maine statute. Kratom and its active alkaloids remain legal in Maine.
- Maryland: A number of bills have been introduced in the MD house and senate to either entirely prohibit kratom or prohibit sales to minors. None have been passed.
- Massachusetts: In 2023, Representative Hunt introduced H.3762 to regulate kratom and set the age limit to 21 years old. The Senate approved the bill, but it eventually died.
- Michigan: A bill to regulate kratom was introduced in 2023 but was not passed.
- Mississippi: MI Rep. Donnie Scoggin sponsored House Bill 364, which would have banned kratom in Mississippi. The bill died in committee. Kratom is banned in dozens of Mississippi towns and counties. The counties include Alcorn, Calhoun, Itawamba, Lowndes, Monroe, Noxubee, Prentiss, Tippah, Tishomingo, and Union. The towns include Corinth, Derma, Fulton, Guntown, Iuka, Mantachie, Marietta, New Albany, Okolona, Oxford, Pontotoc, Ripley, Saltillo, Senatobia, Tishomingo, and Vardaman.
- Missouri: The Missouri House introduced HB 912 in 2023 to regulate kratom, but the bill never made it out of the House.
- Montana: Rep. Ron Marshall sponsored MT HB 373 in 2023. It would have banned selling or giving kratom and intoxicating cannabis products to children. The bill died in the House.
- Nebraska: Senator Loren Lippincott introduced a kratom ban bill, LB 972, in Nebraska in 2024. The NE Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on February 1 to discuss the bill, and no action was taken.
- New Hampshire: NH SB540 passed through the Senate in 2016, but died on the table in the House. A more thorough regulatory bill introduced in 2021, NH HB 333, died in committee. Thus, there is no legal age to buy kratom in New Hampshire. Kratom is banned in Franklin, NH. Most media outlets claim you have to be 18 years old to buy kratom in New Hampshire. However, they reference the bills that were never actually passed through the full legislature.
- New Jersey: NJ senators introduced a New Jersey kratom regulation bill in 2023, but the bill died.
- New Mexico: There have been no attempts to ban kratom in New Mexico or adopt the KCPA.
- New York: Bipartisan Senate sponsors introduced a bill to regulate kratom in New York in 2023. There was a second version of the bill in the Assembly as well, but neither was passed through its respective committee.
- North Carolina: In 2016, the NC House introduced H 747 to continue the use of surveillance cameras in facilities for children diagnosed with mental illnesses. After that bill passed through the House, a Senate committee introduced a bill substitute that was entirely focused on restricting youth access to kratom. The bill was returned to the House for review, but never passed. Another bill to regulate kratom was introduced in 2023 but was not passed. Many articles on kratom legality in North Carolina, including the AKA’s state kratom legality map, claim that the minimum age of purchase for kratom in North Caroline is 18. We have not found any evidence in the NC legal code to support this.
- North Dakota: Anyone can purchase kratom in North Dakota. There are no age restrictions.
- Ohio: Kratom has not yet been regulated in Ohio. Senator Blessing introduced the KCPA in 2023, but it never moved out of committee.
- Pennsylvania: So far, PA has not passed any kratom regulation bills. The bill introduced in April of 2023, SB 614, would have restricted sales to individuals 21 years old and up. Unfortunately, no action was taken on the bill. As is the case with New Hampshire and North Carolina, Pennsylvania’s minimum legal age to buy kratom seems to be widely misreported.
- South Carolina: A large group of sponsors introduced a bill to add kratom to Schedule IV in 2023, but the bill died. Therefore, there’s no age restriction on kratom in South Carolina.
- Vermont: Vermont removed kratom from its list of scheduled substances in 2023. The legislature will likely introduce a new regulatory bill this year.
- Washington: A Washington kratom ban attempt failed in 2022. A regulatory bill was introduced to prohibit the sale of kratom products to individuals under age 21, but it died.
- Wyoming: Kratom is legal for people of all ages in Wyoming. The state has not attempted to create any age restrictions or other legislation yet.
States Where Kratom Is Illegal for All Ages
Numerous state legislators and government departments have attempted to ban kratom, but only a handful have ever done so. Vermont successfully removed kratom from its list of controlled substances in 2023.
So in total, there are only five US states where it is completely illegal to sell or possess kratom, regardless of age. These are the states where kratom is currently scheduled:
- Alabama: Passed in 2016, SB 226 amended the Alabama code to add “mitragynine and hydroxymitragynine, commonly known as Kratom” to the list of Schedule I controlled substances. Discussions are ongoing to repeal the ban and establish kratom regulations.
- Arkansas: Arkansas added mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine to their list of Schedule I controlled substance in 2016. Oddly, they categorize these alkaloids as “opium derivatives,” which is inaccurate. Regardless, kratom is not legal in Arkansas, and law enforcement has severely punished individuals for possessing kratom in the state.
- Indiana: Title 35 of the Indiana code lists mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine as synthetic substances, which belong to Schedule I. In early 2023, the Indiana House approved HB 1500, which would have legalized kratom in Indiana, but the Senate did not move it out of committee.
- Rhode Island: The RI Department of Health criminalized kratom in Rhode Island in 2017. Legislators have made multiple attempts to legalize, but haven’t succeeded yet.
- Wisconsin: Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine are both listed in Schedule I of the Wisconsin Uniform Controlled Substances Act. In late 2023, Wisconsin lawmakers introduced Assembly Bill 393 and SB445 to regulate kratom.
Is Possession of Kratom By Minors Illegal?
In a handful of the states that have established a minimum legal age, there are significant consequences for violating the regulations. A few states solely criminalize manufacturers and vendors that sell kratom to minors. Other states, like Minnesota or South Dakota, also criminalize the possession of kratom by individuals under the legal age of purchase.
Is it illegal to give kratom to minors? Some states have criminalized not just the sale of kratom to minors, but the transfer of possession of kratom to minors. In these states, people of legal age to buy kratom cannot purchase it and then give it to anyone under the legal minimum.
The criminal penalties for illegal kratom sales, transfer of possession, and underage possession vary. In some instances, you can be charged with a misdemeanor.
To avoid such criminal charges for kratom, make sure you stay up date on your state’s kratom age limits and follow its regulations.
The Importance of Kratom Age Requirements
Now that we’ve answered the question, “how old do you have to be to buy kratom?” let’s get into the question of why there should be a minimum age requirement for these products in the first place.
The inclusion of age limits in kratom regulation bills reflects, in part, a lack of research into the plant’s effects on minors. Clinical research with kratom is nascent. No studies involving children have been conducted yet.
There is a long history of use of kratom by people of varying ages throughout Southeast Asia. However, these people have traditionally consumed kratom tea or chewed on whole leaves.
How High-Strength Products and Added Ingredients May Influence the Conversation
A lot of kratom products on the market like concentrated extracts, gummies, or botanical ‘elixirs’ with multiple psychoactive ingredients have only been available for a few years. Plus, in states without thorough regulations and enforcement of regulations, kratom products may contain other ingredients and contaminants that can adversely impact children’s health.
The increase in strength of kratom products has raised concerns. As with cannabis, extracts can be turned into gummies or other easy-to-consume products. Such options taste much better than ground-up leaves.
It’s possible that children would be more enticed to consume these products. To combat this issue, some states require childproof packaging, or prohibit product labeling and formulations that might appeal to children.
Lastly, age limits may prevent anyone from buying kratom without sufficient knowledge of its benefits, risks, and proper consumption methods. Being educated on the proper ways to consume kratom is essential for consumer safety. Minors might lack the necessary knowledge and reasoning to make safe decisions about kratom consumption.
Overall, leaders in the kratom industry seem to support kratom age limits. Many print age-related warnings on their product labels and utilize age gates on their websites. They do so even in states that do not have a set legal minimum age for purchase.
Does Top Tree Herbs Include An Age Restriction on Their Product Packaging and Website?
Top Tree Herbs supports kratom age limits, in addition to more broad product safety and labeling regulations. In our opinion, the best way to protect consumer safety and continued access to kratom products is to follow quality control measures, labeling requirements, and sales restrictions as outlined by most state regulation bills.
That’s why we include kratom age restriction warnings on all of our kratom tea and capsule packaging, and implemented an age gate on our website.
Challenges with Kratom Regulation
Despite positive developments from the growing number of states regulating kratom, challenges persist. Differing requirements between states can lead to confusion as well as frustration, both for businesses and consumers. And as we mentioned earlier, numerous media sites and kratom vendor website misreport how old you have to be to buy kratom in various states.
Kratom regulation controversies certainly aren’t exclusive to the kratom legal age limits, either. Nor are age limit controversies exclusive to the kratom industry.
How Age Limit Debates Have Played Out in Other Industries
Inconsistencies and controversies over age limits exist in both industries that are federally regulated and those that are not. Some key examples of the former are dietary supplements marketed for weight loss or building muscle. Examples of the latter include kava, cannabis, and hemp-derived products.
Dietary supplements are federally regulated in the US by the FDA, but individual states can still take action to restrict their sale to people under a certain age. In 2023, New York legislators introduced A5610D to prevent the sale of weight-loss and muscle-building supplements to individuals under 18 years old. Similar bills have been introduced in states like Maryland and California as well.
Industry stakeholders like the National Products Association and Council for Responsible Nutrition strongly oppose these bills. They argue the age requirements are unconstitutional and, “cave to anti-supplement charlatans.”
In industries that lack federal regulation in the US, states can individually manage the manufacture and sale—or prohibition—of products. Delta-8-THC is legal and age-restricted in many U.S. states but completely banned in others. Certain municipalities have restricted kava sales based on the fact that they are not Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. The list of unique state and local laws for products like these is long.
For plant-loving nomads and online natural product businesses alike, navigating these constantly changing regulations presents significant challenges.
Science vs. Society: Making Compromises on Natural Product Age Restrictions
Controversies over natural product age restrictions often hinge upon discrepancies between scientific research and sociopolitical realities.
For instance, evidence from studies on cannabis might suggest cannabis is detrimental to brain development. Researchers may thus recommend restricting access to individuals in their mid-20s.
However, what happens if younger people are denied access to cannabis products? Some cannabis industry leaders argue they may seek cannabis products through illicit markets, or choose other products that are more harmful to their health.
Thus, based on the unbelievably complex social context in which natural products like cannabis exist, experts may argue for lower federal age limits.
How Old Do You Think People Should Have to Be to Buy Kratom?
Long story short, the answer to the question of “how old do you have to be to buy kratom,” is a lot more nuanced than it might initially seem. The lack of federal guidelines from the FDA adds a significant amount of complexity.
Hopefully regulations become more widely accepted and less piecemeal throughout the US in the coming years. In the meantime, state laws—though inconsistent and sometimes flawed—can protect kratom consumers of all ages.
If you disagree with a kratom age limit (or lack thereof) in your state, we encourage you to contact to your elected officials to share your opinion.