At Top Tree, we receive a lot of questions pertaining to kratom laws and regulations. In response, we’ve dedicated a series of posts aimed at answering your questions. This week’s topic: Is kratom legal in Arizona?
Arizona. Widely renowned for it’s breathtaking views (including a little gap called the Grand Canyon), there are certainly many reasons to visit the state. However, we are not here to talk about the local flora, fauna, or other Arizona attractions.
No, we’re here to address a different type of flora that has been making headlines here in the United States: Mitragyna speciosa. This tropical tree wouldn’t survive in Arizona’s climate. However, products made with kratom leaves are very popular throughout the state.
Kratom has quite variable legal status throughout the US. So we’re here to explain the details of kratom legality in Arizona, from what age you have to be to buy it, to what restrictions there are on different types of kratom products.
Kratom Legality in Arizona
Kratom laws and regulations can be rather complex and difficult to navigate. That’s why we’re here!
The FDA has refused to regulate kratom at the federal level. Thus, states and other local governing bodies have been tasked to pick up the slack. As such, some states may have complete kratom bans, while others may have local ordinances restricting the sale or possession of kratom. (Check out our earlier post “Is Kratom Legal in California“, for examples of this)
So what about Arizona? We are pleased to announce that kratom is, in fact, legal throughout the state of Arizona! Adult kratom enthusiasts within the state are free to enjoy the traditional Southeast Asian Mitragyna speciosa plant in many forms.
Despite the attempt to ban the sale of kratom in 2014, there is no cause to assume kratom’s current legal status in Arizona is in jeopardy. On the contrary, kratom advocates in Arizona can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that plant has regulatory policy protecting its legal status in the state.
But what does kratom regulation actually mean?
Why Enact Kratom Regulation in Arizona?
For starters, it is important to define what “kratom regulation” actually entails.
Regulation is defined as “a rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law.” What does this mean in the context of kratom regulation?
In short, regulation of the kratom industry in your state ensures that the kratom you’re buying is safe and high quality. By introducing procedures and standards for kratom manufacturers, this helps to prevent any vendors from selling low-quality products that might harm consumers.
Without oversight, vendors may opt to cut corners in search of profit. This can include the addition of potentially harmful substances to the kratom product, or even the marketing of non-Mitragyna speciosa products as kratom itself in extreme cases.
Common Components of Kratom Regulation
- Prohibiting sale of kratom to certain age groups (typically the ban of sale to minors or anyone under 21)
- Requiring special instructions and information on labeling and packaging
- Establishing quality control requirements (like lab testing) on all kratom products
- Setting forth clear processing and storage requirements
- Defining penalties for violation of policy
This is clearly not a complete list, but it’s a good representation of what kratom regulation may look like in practice. Kratom regulation, in essence, aims to protect both kratom vendors and kratom advocates alike with safeguards for the industry as a whole.
Now that our definition of regulation is clear, what does regulation of kratom look like in Arizona? Has the state enacted all of the above measures, just a subset, or an entirely unique range of requirements?
The Arizona Kratom Consumer Protection Act
The Arizona Kratom Consumer Protection Act (AKCPA) officially became law in April of 2019, after unanimous passage in both chambers of the state legislature.
Officially titled House Bill 2550, the bill provides a regulatory framework for kratom sale in Arizona. Let’s take a look at some of the provisions of the bill.
Arizona House Bill 2550
According the House Bill 2550, vendors must:
- Not sell kratom to any individual under the age of 18
- Not sell kratom products that contain potentially harmful non-kratom substances that might otherwise alter kratom properties
- Refrain from selling kratom products containing synthetic kratom alkaloids or compounds
- Not sell kratom containing 7-hydroxymitragynine that makes up over 2% of the overall alkaloid content
- Provide proper labeling that clearly states the presence of 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine
- Include clear instructions for use of the product, including suggested serving size
- List the common name of each ingredient contained within, in descending order of dominance in the product
- Add any precautionary statements regarding kratom, including safety and effectiveness
In addition, House Bill 2550 states the penalty for violation of any provision within the bill. Any violation of any such provision of the bill can result in a class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 4 months in jail or a $750 fine.
*Provisions of House Bill 2550 are not word-for-word copy, and as such are not official legal transcriptions. You can read the bill in it’s entirety here.*
These seem like some pretty amenable rules to have in place. Most leaders in the kratom industry don’t just accept regulations, but encourage and advocate for them. While the functionality of this law comes down to vendor compliance and effective state enforcement, Arizona’s law sets a great groundwork for protecting consumer safety.
Can Arizona Still Ban Kratom?
Kratom is currently legal in Arizona. Further, it has the added protection of the Arizona Kratom Consumer Protection Act working in its favor. Does this mean a future ban is impossible?
Well, to put it bluntly, no. Thankfully, there are no current plans to ban kratom or reverse the KCPA in Arizona. However, this does not mean kratom’s legal status is impervious to change. Much like any policy decision made in the United States, the KCPA in Arizona can always be reversed or amended.
For starters, kratom’s legal status is always subject to change as long as federal agencies like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) do not support kratom regulation. For years, the FDA and DEA have attempted to ban kratom domestically under the Controlled Substances Act.
In 2016, The DEA’s intention to pursue a domestic ban was vehemently defeated after 130,000 Americans signed a White House petition opposing their decision. Additionally, 51 members of congress wrote a letter to the DEA, urging them to listen to the public.
After failing to classify kratom as a Schedule I controlled substance (putting it in the same class as drugs such as heroin and ecstasy), the FDA took a global approach.
The FDA seems to have put a domestic ban on hold. Instead, in 2021, it sought to use the World Health Organization (WHO) as an instrument to bring their kratom ban to life. They encouraged the WHO’s recommendation to schedule kratom as a Schedule I drug, which would have brought about a global ban on the product.
The American Kratom Association (AKA) actively opposed this shady strong-arm tactic by the FDA. Speaking of the AKA, that brings us to our next (and final) important talking point. Kratom advocacy.
How Kratom Advocacy Can Prevent Future Ban Attempts
We founded Top Tree Herbs to help normalize and destigmatize kratom by providing a type of product that people were already pretty familiar with—tea bags. We can’t continue to provide you the quality tea that we love if there is a ban in your state, or if a federal ban should ever come to fruition. So what can you do about it? Advocacy is the key!
For any and all kratom advocacy questions, your first stop should be the American Kratom Association. The AKA has been at the forefront of the fight to protect kratom rights since its inception in 2014.
They provide extensive information about the kratom policy status in each state. If you really want to stay up to date, you can even sign up to become an American Kratom Protector, where you will receive the latest news regarding kratom policy in the United States.
If you have any further questions regarding kratom advocacy, you can always contact us at Top Tree. We’ll do our very best to point you in the right direction!
Kratom advocacy is extremely important to keep kratom legal for vendors and consumers alike. Of course, we recommend our independently lab-tested kratom tea bags to all those interested in kratom, but we realize that there are other options out there. Above all, we would prefer those other options be safe for our consumers as well.
Supporting policies like the Kratom Consumer Protection Act is the best way to achieve this goal.
Brief Final Word
If you made it this far, we appreciate you sticking around for the conclusion of “Is Kratom Legal in Arizona?” Let’s quickly recap what we’ve covered about Arizona’s kratom laws.
First, kratom is legal for sale and purchase throughout the state of Arizona. However, due to the Arizona Kratom Consumer Protection Act, there are several stipulations that vendors and consumers must abide by—wait until you’re 18, kids!
Regulation ensures kratom quality and safety. Without oversight, there is no guarantee that what you’re getting is 100% pure Mitragyna speciosa kratom. We highly recommend going with an AKA certified kratom vendor (like ourselves), just to be safe!
Advocacy is the best way to ensure that kratom remains safe and legal, for all individuals to enjoy. Kratom was traditionally a natural beverage, enjoyed by Southeast Asian laborers for centuries. We want to allow people to revisit kratom’s roots as the all-natural beverage/plant in addition to the wide range of new products that are available. To ensure access for those who like it and depend upon it, advocacy is essential.
That’s it for this week! We hope you enjoyed this article, or at least left a little with a little bit more knowledge about kratom policy than you started with. Be on the lookout for next weeks article on the Better Brewing Blog, “Is Kratom Legal in Arkansas?”
Thanks again for reading and cheers to better brewing!