Kratom’s Legal Status in Georgia (2022)
Here at Top Tree, we receive a lot of questions regarding kratom legality. With our latest series of posts, we aim to clear up any confusion regarding kratom’s legal status in a few of our most highly requested states. Welcome to “Is Kratom Legal in Georgia?”. (Check out our previous article, “Is Kratom Legal in Arizona?” here.)
Georgia. Often associated with pecan pie and peaches, the state certainly has a reputation for being a haven for unique crops. So what about our favorite natural herb: kratom?
Luckily, kratom is legal throughout the state of Georgia. In fact, as of 2019, kratom is regulated in the state of Georgia under the Georgia Kratom Consumer Protection Act. However, the Georgia KCPA comes with several stipulations that vendors and consumers would be wise to abide by. (More on this in just a bit.)
The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) is not a novel piece of legislation. The KCPA is the brain-child of the American Kratom Association, a long time outspoken kratom advocacy group. The KCPA itself is a set of rules and regulations that comprise a comprehensive regulatory framework for state kratom regulation.
So what does the individual Georgia KCPA actually look like? Let’s take a look.
Quick History of Georgia Kratom Legislation
The Georgia Kratom Consumer Protection Act
With an overwhelming vote of support in the House (164-1), the Governor of Georgia signed the Georgia KCPA into law.
The Georgia Consumer Protection Act:
- Prohibits otherwise lawful sale of kratom and products containing kratom to any individual under the age of 18
- Prohibits illegal transfer of kratom to any individual under the age of 18 by other parties
- Requires vendors to label all kratom products, including a list of ingredients and total alkaloid content
- Requires use of disclaimers on all kratom products, including proper use and manufacturer information
- Imposes a fine of up to $1000, a year in jail, or both for any violation of the Georgia Kratom Consumer Protection Act
*We are not lawyers here at Top Tree. As such, all laws pertaining to the Georgia KCPA are paraphrased and not to be taken as legal advice. You can view the bill in its entirety here.*
Accordingly, legal kratom consumers in Georgia enjoy the peace of knowing that they are able to enjoy the traditional Southeast Asian brew without fear of persecution.
The Georgia Kratom Consumer Protection Act is a massive step for kratom advocates, but the transition to regulation was not without its trials and tribulations. Let’s take a look back at one example of potential Georgia kratom legislation that “might have been”.
Roadblock to Regulation: Potential Kratom Ban
As we previously mentioned, Georgia’s road to regulation of kratom did not come without opposition.
Much like the 6 other states (Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah) who have their own Kratom Consumer Protection Act, propositions to ban kratom altogether came beforehand. Enter Georgia House Bill 783.
Georgia House Bill 783
The move to ban kratom in Georgia ultimately began with statements from the Georgia state chief medical examiner. He (erroneously) claimed that kratom consumption was the cause of 11 deaths within the state.
In reality, 9 of the 11 victims of overdose were found to have had other substances in their blood. As for the other two deaths, no information is readily accessible. They were reportedly only supposed to have had kratom in their blood, though no cause of death is given.
Despite this, in response the the chief medical examiner’s claims, Georgia House Bill 783 was filed. To save our readers some suspense, the bill was ultimately never made it through review. We should mention that the numerous kratom advocates who gave their favorable testimonials of kratom were instrumental in the decision.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the ramifications of House Bill 783 anyways. Under the Bill, kratom would:
- Be classified as a Schedule 1 substance under chapter 13 of the Official Code of Georgia
- Be illegal to purchase, sell, or otherwise consume
- Carry a penalty of no more than two years in jail, or a fine not to exceed $2000, or both for distribution or possession of kratom
That’s a concise list of some of the repercussions of House Bill 783. Well, we think that’s more than enough.
Thankfully, the KCPA was the champion of this race for legislative supremacy in Georgia.
Why Regulate Kratom?
Being a vendor of natural kratom tea ourselves, why would we advocate for more restrictions on kratom?
Well, to sum it all up, we believe these restrictions aren’t so much restrictions. Instead, we like to think of them as common-sense safety and quality guidelines that will keep kratom safe and legal. For instance, our kratom tea bags are independently lab-tested for quality. We believe that this should be an industry wide standard.
Whenever there is a marketable product, there will always be those attempting to cut corners in search of profit. Shady vendors are likely to subject their kratom to a number of questionable practices such as:
- Adding potentially harmful substances to kratom– Vendors have the ability to create their own “blends”. Shady vendors who do not care about kratom consumers may see this as an opportunity to add substances with undesirable effects to their product.
- Providing subpar quality kratom– Kratom is a natural product and is thus subject to natural biological processes like mold. This means that the entire manufacturing process is important in ensuring quality kratom. Processing factors like storage and shipment play a major role in the final product.
- Providing kratom that varies in alkaloid profile and strength– Without lab testing, how does a kratom consumer (or vendor) know the alkaloid level in their kratom will provide a consistent product from one batch to the next? Simply put, they don’t. Always check to make sure that the kratom you’re purchasing has been properly lab tested.
- Marketing a non-kratom substance as kratom– With no labeling and testing requirements, how can you even be sure what you are getting is kratom? Again, unless your vendor tests independently, you don’t. This can cause serious harm to the kratom industry and its proponents.
With oversight, these problems become easily avoidable.
Will Kratom Remain Legal in Georgia?
Much like any bill here in the United States, the Georgia KCPA is always subject to change. While passage of the KCPA in Georgia was certainly a huge win for kratom advocates, opponents of the Mitragyna speciosa plant will never cease their war against the natural Southeast Asian plant.
However, through the passage of Georgia’s KCPA, kratom advocates will enjoy the fact that kratom is protected from a ban at the moment. A potential ban would require the KCPA to be overturned, something that has not happened in any of the 6 states where a KCPA has been adopted.
Additionally, more states have proposals to regulate kratom due in upcoming legislative sessions. With more and more states seeing the upside to kratom remaining legal, this makes it inherently tougher to sway lawmakers and constituents alike.
As of now there there are no bans on the books, so Georgia kratom advocates have little to worry about.
The American Kratom Association’s Mission
Ever since kratom’s popularity boom in the United States, the AKA has been at the the forefront for kratom advocacy.
With regulation of kratom at the federal level seemingly being all but a lost cause (for the time being), it’s up to individual states to keep kratom legal and safe. In fact, as recently as 2021, it seems that the FDA is still seeking ways to circumvent state and federal rights altogether.
In July 2021, the FDA called upon the World Health Organization (WHO) to comment on the possibility of considering a worldwide kratom ban. More specifically, they requested the WHO’s thoughts on classifying kratom as a Schedule 1 substance.
Fortunately for kratom advocates around the world, this never came to fruition. The WHO voted 11-1 in favor of simply continuing to monitor kratom and collecting data on its health effects.
This is why kratom advocacy is extremely important. If you’d like to stay up to date with the latest kratom news in your state, we’ve got just the tool for you. On the AKA’s official site, there is a handy state by state map displaying current kratom status in all 50 US states. You can even sign up to become an American Kratom Protector here, where you will receive the latest kratom news and updates.
However you choose to advocate, the important thing is that you stay informed and remain involved in the conversation!
That’s all for this week’s edition exploring the complex topic of kratom legality. To some it all up, yes kratom is legal in Georgia!
Kratom regulation is in full swing under the Georgia Kratom Consumer Protection Act. The act allows kratom consumers 18 and older to purchase kratom from qualified vendors who adhere to all provisions of the KCPA.
And finally, advocacy is always the way to go when it comes to protecting kratom and your individual rights. Further passage of additional state regulatory frameworks help to set a precedent and ensure kratom’s legal status will continue on the right (legal) path.
As we wrap up our legality-themed posts, be sure to check out some of our other kratom related articles. Thanks for tuning in to another edition of our the Better Brewing Blog, where we will continue to discuss all things kratom.
Cheers to better brewing!