The state of New Jersey is home to 485 birds, 450 species of vertebrate wildlife, 336 saltwater fish, 134 freshwater fish species, and 28 marine mammals. Don’t believe all the stereotypes you hear – New Jersey is a haven for wildlife lovers! Yet, is the state equally welcoming to kratom consumers?
Read on for a closer look at the legal status of kratom in New Jersey, along with updates on the 2023 New Jersey kratom bill.
NJ Kratom Laws: Currently Legal
If you’re wondering, “is kratom legal in New Jersey? then you’ll be happy to know that the answer is yes! Currently, kratom is legal in New Jersey. You can buy kratom in New Jersey, as well as possess and sell kratom in the Garden State.
However, kratom is not yet regulated in New Jersey. That means kratom consumers should take care to select kratom products that still follow regulations, regardless of NJ’s lack of regulation.
NJ kratom legality has certainly been tenuous at times. The history of kratom legislation in New Jersey is rather interesting, and the status of kratom in NJ isn’t set in stone. However, new regulatory kratom legislation in New Jersey has been introduced, so NJ kratom laws could be changing!
Past Attempts to Ban Kratom in New Jersey
Currently, there are no New Jersey kratom bans in place, and there haven’t been any ban bills introduced in the 2023 NJ legislative session. However, that doesn’t mean that legislators haven’t considered banning kratom in New Jersey.
2015 NJ Kratom Ban Bill
In 2015, the legislature introduced Assembly Bill 4431, which would have made kratom banned in New Jersey if passed. The manufacturing, sale, and possession of products containing kratom would have become illegal.
A4431 was a partisan bill sponsored by Republican Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer of NJ District 12 (which includes Burlington County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County, NJ).
Right off the bat, the New Jersey kratom community found out about A4431. On one Reddit kratom sub, a Reddit user posted about A4431, urging kratom advocates to contact their legislators to stop the ban bill. Assemblyman Dancer’s kratom ban attempt was ultimately met with strong resistance from the NJ kratom community as well as advocates from outside of the state.
2018 NJ Kratom Ban Bill
While the 2015 bill died in committee, Asm. Dancer reintroduced the same bill again in 2018 as Assembly Bill 2865. Just like Assembly Bill 4431, this second bill intended to make kratom a controlled substance, criminalizing kratom consumers in New Jersey.
Fortunately, this bill also died in the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.
2020 NJ Kratom Ban Bill
Lo and behold, while the bill failed a second time, Senator Dancer reintroduced his New Jersey kratom ban bill for a third time in 2020—this time as Assembly Bill 2236. Again, the bill aimed to ban kratom and criminalize kratom consumers in the state.
Nevertheless, advocates continued to rally in opposition to the third ban attempt. On LegiScan, there were over 100 comments pushing for regulating kratom instead of enacting a ban.
Fortunately, following the third attempted ban bill, kratom advocates in New Jersey enjoyed a few years of breathing room. The next piece of kratom legislation was introduced in 2022. It focused on protecting New Jersey kratom consumers rather than trying to criminalize them.
Changing Tides: 2022 NJ KCPA Bill
On May 26th of 2022, Assemblywoman Carol Murphy and Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (both Democrats) introduced Assembly Bill 2071. The bill would have created the “New Jersey Kratom Consumer Protection Act.” It was referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.
NJ Bill A4071 did not see any movement in 2022, but an identical bill was introduced in 2023 by bipartisan sponsors.
New Jersey Kratom Legality: 2023 Update
On February 2, 2023, Senator Joseph Lagana and Senator Jon Bramnick introduced NJ Senate Bill 3540, again seeking to establish the New Jersey Kratom Consumer Protection Act. S3540 includes the following regulatory measures:
- Lab testing kratom for contaminants
- Restrictions on the ingredients and alkaloid concentrations in kratom products
- Rules for properly labeling products
- Registration requirements for kratom vendors
- Restrictions on the sale of kratom to anyone under 21
- Penalties for anyone who violates these stipulations
When interviewed on New Jersey 101.5, Sen. Bramnick said that, “All I did in this piece of legislation is say that the health department needs to regulate [kratom]; we’re not banning it.”
Kratom activists have pushed for legislators to regulate kratom instead of banning it for years, so the new legislative focus is a welcome change. It’s great to see that Senator Bramnick is in favor of regulation, even if he’s not a major pro-kratom figure.
The bill was referred to the NJ Senate Commerce Committee, but no action has been taken yet. So far, SB 3540 has nine comments on LegiScan, most of which are from kratom activists and consumers agreeing with the bill.
The Importance of Regulating Kratom in New Jersey
When it comes to the legality of kratom in the US, there are no federal laws addressing kratom regulation or criminalization. Thus, it’s up to individual states to make these decisions. If the New Jersey Kratom Consumer Protection Act passes, the state will join a list of other states that have regulated kratom.
Regulating kratom protects consumers from poor-quality and mislabeled kratom products. The NJ KCPA would require kratom vendors to provide transparent ingredient labels on their products and other information. It would also raise the legal age to buy kratom to 21, as well as require vendors to meet a set of manufacturing standards, including third-party lab testing. By demanding more accountability from vendors, legislators would enable consumers to buy kratom in New Jersey with more confidence.
What to Know About Buying Kratom in New Jersey
Now that you know kratom is legal in New Jersey, you might be wondering where to buy kratom in NJ. We aren’t able to list every place that sells kratom in New Jersey, but we’re happy to provide you with a set of guidelines that we find really important when it comes to buying kratom. These guidelines are especially important because kratom is not yet regulated in New Jersey.
When buying kratom, look for vendors that:
- Properly label their kratom products (ingredients, alkaloid concentrations, suggested uses, lot numbers, and expiration dates, etc.)
- Have their kratom and other products lab tested by a third party, and provide easy-to-access Certificates of Analysis
- Restrict the age of sales to those over 18 or 21
- Follow quality control measures for manufacturing
Following these guidelines can not only give you peace of mind, but also make the kratom industry better as a whole.
NJ and Beyond: Kratom Advocacy Across the Country
At Top Tree Herbs, we advocate for kratom regulation throughout the U.S. are avid supporters of Kratom Consumer Protection Act – regardless of the fact that it’s not currently enacted in all 50 states.
You can find out more about other states’ and countries’ kratom laws on the Better Brewing Blog, and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about kratom legislation around the world.