Kratom Legality in New York (2022)
Here at Top Tree, we receive a lot of questions about kratom legality. Accordingly, we’ve decided to address these questions with a series of posts.. Welcome to “Is Kratom Legal in New York?”.
New York. Home to the big apple, and often seen as a city of freedom and limitless opportunity.
The goal today, however, is not to talk about the world-famous city where we first began our kratom journey. We’re here to talk about our favorite natural herb: kratom. More specifically, we’d like to outline some of the laws and regulations pertaining to kratom within the state of New York as a whole. With that being said, let’s jump into it!
To put it plainly, at the time of this post, yes kratom is legal throughout the state of New York. However, much like marijuana policy here in the United States, kratom laws can be a bit confusing. Kratom is not regulated by any federal governing body like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Normally, this would be the case as kratom is a Southeast Asian plant used in traditional tea. Unfortunately, due to the FDA’s disdain for kratom, they’ve left kratom’s legal fate in the hands of local and state authorities. This means that states (and local cities/counties), can choose to regulate or restrict the sale of kratom.
While kratom remains legal throughout New York, there have been several challenges and proposals to change the nature of kratom’s legal status in recent years. Let’s take a look at some of these proposals, and what they might have meant for kratom’s future in the country’s 4th most populous state.
Proposed Kratom Legislation in New York
New York and kratom have had a long and tentative relationship when it comes to proposed legislation.
In the last decade, there have been several attempts to make changes to kratom’s legal status, or otherwise regulate the plant. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent proposals.
Proposed Kratom Bans
NY Assembly Bill 231
The most concerning bill for kratom advocates in New York was 2017’s NY Assembly Bill 231. Had Assembly Bill 231 become law, sale and distribution of kratom would have been illegal throughout the state.
Currently, only 6 states have successfully made a statewide ban on kratom a reality. Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Vermont fall into this category, though there is hope for reversal in several of these states. (Check out our previous article “Is Kratom Legal in Arkansas?” here)
New York Senate Bill 5531 & New York Assembly Bill 8249
While not technically a statewide kratom “ban” per say, more restrictive bills have found their way into recent New York legislative sessions.
Similar in nature, 2019 proposals NY S05531 and NY A08249 dealt with restriction of kratom sales to minors. Both bills aimed to prohibit sale of kratom to individuals under 21 years of age. The bills also outlined what happen to vendors should they attempt to break this law; a civil penalty of no more than $500 worth of fines.
Both bills ultimately failed to come to fruition. We should note that these bills actually fall under the realm of regulatory procedure rather than a “ban”. We thought it apt to group them in with previous attempted bans due to the fact there there were no other regulatory requirements other than the restriction of sale to minors.
New York has had a relatively long history of attempts to restrict the sale of kratom without additional regulatory requirements. Hopefully, our next proposal will change that.
New York Kratom Consumer Protection Act
Fortunately, there is (hopefully) a light at the end of the tunnel for kratom advocates in New York.
New York Senate Bill 3588, if passed, would effectively create the New York state kratom consumer protection act. The bill, proposed by Senator Leroy Comrie in January of this year, currently sits with the New York Senate Agricultural Committee. While the bill still has a long journey towards becoming law, this is a huge step in the right direction for protecting kratom rights within the state.
So what exactly does Senate Bill 3588 aim to accomplish?
Senate Bill 3588 would:
- Require vendors to clearly label kratom products, including a list of ingredients and suggested serving size
- Ban the addition of dangerous non-kratom substances such as synthetic alkaloids or scheduled substances
- Prohibit sale of kratom to minors (individuals under the age of 18)
- Require vendors to disclose the content of 7-hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine on packaging label
- Prohibit sale of kratom where 7-hydroxymitragynine makes up greater than 2% of the kratom’s overall alkaloid content
- Establish penalties for vendors who would violate any provisions of the New York KCPA. First time offenders can expect a fine of no more than $500, with repeat offenders receiving a fine of no more than $1000 for each subsequent offense
- Vendors may also receive a sentence of up to 90 days in jail, and be liable for any damages that may occur due to their negligence
This “Kratom Consumer Protection Act” is not a novel idea. The Kratom Consumer Protection Act is a regulatory framework for kratom created by the American Kratom Association. In fact, 6 US states have already passed their own versions of the KCPA. (Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah.)
Why Regulate Kratom?
You may find yourself thinking; why would we (Top Tree Herbs), a kratom tea vendor, advocate for restrictions and regulations in the kratom industry?
Well, to keep things simple, we care about kratom and its reputation as a safe traditional tea to be enjoyed by all! Through regulation of kratom, several important things can be accomplished.
For starters, requirements such as clear labeling instructions and lab-testing of kratom products helps keep kratom consumers safe. Consumers can feel confident that they know what they are purchasing, and that the contents of their package are true to what is described on the label. For instance, our kratom tea bags include all ingredients and a suggested serving size.
In terms of alkaloid requirements pertaining to alkaloids such as 7-hydroxymitragynine, this can help ensure that the consumer is getting a consistent brew. The strength and quality of the brew should only vary to slight degree with such requirements in place.
Additionally, prohibiting the tainting of kratom with potentially harmful substances and synthetic alkaloids helps to protect kratom. We as kratom advocates want to avoid (unjust) negative accusations toward kratom, especially due to a vendor’s shifty processing morals.
And finally, due to regulation, kratom’s legal status can enjoy some sense of security. With regulatory procedures on the books, safeguards are put in place that make it unlikely that a ban will succeed in the state. If kratom is made safer, and has more legal protection in a state, then we may yet see kratom turn the tide in its ongoing legal persecution here in the state.
These all sound like logical and productive things for the kratom industry, right?
Yeah, we think so too!
As we’ve previously mentioned, the best way to protect kratom and kratom consumers is through the regulation of kratom in your state.
In terms of kratom regulation and advocacy, your best resource will always be the American Kratom Association (AKA).
The AKA has fought for kratom and its proponents for decades, in nearly every state in the US. In addition, the AKA was instrumental in defeating the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) 2016 federal kratom ban.
(The DEA attempted to use it’s emergency scheduling authority to classify kratom as a “Schedule 1” drug.)
Eventually, after discouraging calls from Congress, the DEA reversed the decision. For this reason and many others, we recommend becoming familiar with the AKA and their campaigns.
On their site, there is even a handy state-by-state map that details kratom laws in each state. The map also details bills and proposals that are awaiting decision, so it’s a great tool for those looking to stay informed on all matters related to kratom law.
If you’re really serious about kratom advocacy, you can also sign up to become an American Kratom Protector. By doing so, you’ll receive the latest news and updates regarding kratom via e-mail.
However you choose to participate, the important thing is that you’re taking initiative and getting involved!
If you’ve made it this far, we appreciate you sticking around for the entirety of our latest legality-themed post: Is Kratom Legal in New York?
Hopefully you found all of your questions answered, or at least find yourself a bit more knowledgeable on the complex topic of kratom legislation. If you have any more questions for us, feel free to contact us here!
In summation of this post, yes kratom is legal throughout the state of New York. There is no form of regulation pertaining to kratom within the state, although the New York Kratom Consumer Protection Act has been filed.
Many other states have their own versions of the KCPA currently in deliberation, which is why it is important to stay up to date with kratom legislation in your state.
And as always, cheers to better brewing!