Is Kratom Legal in Texas? SB 497 and 2023 Updates

Whether you’re a Texas resident or plan on visiting the Lone Star State, you may be wondering, “is kratom legal in Texas?” When it comes to the legal status of kratom, Texas is definitely an important state for American kratom consumers due to its high population and influence.

Furthermore, the State of Texas is often associated with freedom. While this certainly rings true for many Texas businesses, how does it apply to businesses looking to sell kratom in Texas? Is kratom legal in Texas?

While Texas is known to have some of the harshest possession laws regarding scheduled substances, the Texas House of Representatives recently passed a bill to decriminalize marijuana, and views towards pot in the state are changing. However, the bill died in Senate. Nevertheless, whether or not kratom is treated as a freedom or felony certainly would come down to how the Texas laws classify kratom.

In recent years, there have been various changes to Texas kratom legislation that you may want to familiarize yourself with before looking to sell or buy kratom in Texas. 

Texas Kratom Laws

Without FDA regulating kratom at the federal level, kratom policy has largely been left to the discretion of state laws and local authorities.

Much like hemp, CBD, and marijuana policies here in the United States, kratom legality can vary on a state-by-state basis.

Some cities even have local ordinances dictating the legality and regulation of kratom. States that have banned kratom completely include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin

If you’re one of the almost 30 million residents of Texas, you’ll be happy to notice that your state is not on that list. So the short answer to our question, “Is kratom legal in Texas?” is yes! Kratom is legal in Texas.

Texas residents can find kratom for sale at many of the local gas stations, vape stores, and head shops located throughout the state. You can also ship kratom to Texas after purchasing from an online vendor.

However, as of 2023, Texas kratom laws have changed. Unlike years prior, there are now certain restrictions for selling and buying kratom in Texas. For minors, kratom is illegal in Texas. Furthermore, adulterated kratom is illegal in Texas now, as are other products that don’t meet certain legal stipulations.

Furthermore, by creating a clear legal framework for kratom vendors and producers, Texas’s kratom industry can attract responsible businesses, leading to a successful kratom market. The state may also receive funding from kratom business registration fees.

Moreover, by ensuring that only compliant vendors operate within the state, Texas can prevent unscrupulous business practices associated with unregulated substances. Thus, by regulating kratom, Texas helps protect consumers from contaminated products while promoting a thriving compliant market.

The History of Kratom Laws in Texas: The Fight to Regulate Kratom

Now that we have established the importance of “kratom regulation” it’s time to answer our second important question regarding kratom in Texas. Is kratom regulated in Texas?

While kratom is legal in Texas and most other states, it is only regulated in a small, (but growing) number of states. Interestingly, Texas legislators have made efforts to regulate kratom long before many other states considered it—way to go Texas!

However, it took a number of efforts to finally succeed at regulating kratom in Texas. As you’ll see below, some of these kratom regulation bills simply lost steam and died before advancing. So, before we get to the latest Texas kratom laws, let’s cover some of the past efforts to regulate kratom in the Lone Star State.

House Bill 1097 & Senate Bill 821

House Bill 1097, filed in January of 2021, would have created the Texas Kratom Consumer Protection Act had it passed.

(If you haven’t heard of it, the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) is a skeleton regulatory framework. Created by the American Kratom Association (AKA) and the Botanical Educational Alliance (BEA), it is up to each individual state to pass its own unique version of the bill.)

In response to Bill 1097 came Senate Bill 821, a similar (but less successful) legal framework that found its way to the Department of Health and Human Services before receiving the “red light.” Since both bills are almost identical, we will focus on the former (and more successful) of the two.

House Bill 1097 described the regulatory framework for kratom’s legal status in Texas if passed. The bill gave some of the following policies and procedures for processors and vendors hoping to remain eligible in the kratom market:

  • Requires retailers to have accurate labeling descriptions of product
  • Bans products containing synthetic alkaloids
  • Prohibits sale of kratom products to anybody under the age of 18
  • No sale of kratom containing dangerous additives or controlled substances.

House Bill 1097 also described the penalties associated with failure to comply with any of the aforementioned guidelines. First-time offenders can expect to pay a $250 fine, second-time offenders can expect to pay a $500 fine, and each subsequent offense will impose a hefty $1000 fine.

While these sound like some fairly reasonable requests, this bill was before its time. Fortunately, this year, two Texas bills to regulate kratom finally made it all the way!

Newest Texas Kratom Laws (2023 Updates)

In 2023, both the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives pushed forward bills that to protect kratom consumers in Texas by regulating kratom products sold in the state.

Both of these bills passed and will take effect on September 1, 2023. Woohoo!

Kratom is legal in Texas, and may be regulated soon if SB 497 passes. Texas kratom consumers can then expect improved kratom quality and kratom vendor transparency.

Texas Senate Bill 497

For one, Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini introduced Senate Bill 497 to add regulations and age restrictions to encourage safer, more ethical sales of kratom.

According to the American Kratom Association’s spokesman, Mac Haddow, this bill will help protect kratom consumers in the state of Texas. According to Mac, kratom “should not be adulterated,” and SB 497, “establishes a regulatory framework that’s reasonable.”

Haddow added that Texans should support this bill to feel safer about buying kratom in Texas.

In an email, Senator Zaffirini stated that she was inspired to file SB 497 by Texans who shared their personal stories about kratom, including testimonies about losing loved ones to adulterated products.

This new bill would make adulterated kratom products illegal, offer instructions on kratom serving sizes, and would require transparent product labeling to account for all ingredients. Zaffirini said that banning substances continually results in an increased number of negative consequences, thus, Zaffirini stands by kratom regulation as a better route.

“My intent in filing this bill was to make regulated, safe kratom products available to those needing them while discouraging illegal distribution and use,” Senator Zaffirini stated.

Texas House Bill 861

In addition to the Texas Senate’s new bill regarding kratom regulation, Texas State Representative J.M. Lozano introduced House Bill 861, which, like SB 497, would also help protect kratom consumers by setting fines for selling adulterated or un-labeled kratom and setting a minimum age of 18 to buy kratom in Texas.

So, what are the differences between House Bill 861 and Senate Bill 497? Well, both 2023 Texas kratom regulation bills are identical! SB 487 and HB 861 were both billed as the “Texas Kratom Consumer Health and Safety Protection Act.”

Penalties & Fines for Breaking Texas Kratom Laws

To enforce kratom regulation in the state, both of these new Texas KCPA bills would set civil penalty fines for selling adulterated kratom, failing to provide accurate labeling, and selling kratom products to people younger than 18 (a Class C misdemeanor).

A first-time violation would result in a $250 fine. The second offense would result in a $500 fine, and subsequent violations would be $1,000. While any Texas kratom vendor can be subject to these fines for violating guidelines, these bills leave room for vendors to defend themselves.

If a business that sells kratom in Texas is able to prove that the violations were unintentional and “due to the kratom retailer’s good faith reliance on the representation of another kratom processor,” they can avoid the civil penalty fines.

So, overall, these bills are pretty reasonable and fair to both kratom consumers and kratom vendors in Texas.

Keep Kratom Protected

The case for regulating kratom is simple. Kratom advocates like ourselves here at Top Tree truly care about kratom. We care about the stigma surrounding kratom, which means we care about kratom’s safety and reputation.

Regulation ensures that kratom vendors have to follow a stringent set of safety and quality procedures. True kratom advocates know they gain nothing from cutting corners and selling sub-par kratom, even if it helps their bottom line.

Regulation almost always entails lab testing for quality assurance. Testing helps vendors determine alkaloid types and levels, which in turn leads to more consistent (and safer) products for consumers. Product testing also ensures that processors’ kratom is not mixed (either knowingly or unknowingly) with potentially harmful substances.

Kratom regulation also helps establish other standard growing and storage practices that will help ensure kratom’s quality and safety. Kratom is, after all, a natural product. This means that it is subject to natural biological phenomena such as molding and insect infestation.

Regulation will help ensure that kratom is pure and safe, from farm to tea cup. After all, safety comes first, people!

Summary: Is Kratom Legal in Texas?

So is kratom legal in Texas? Yes, kratom is legal everywhere in Texas—and to make things even better—kratom is regulated in Texas!

As long as you’re over 18, you can buy kratom in Texas, and starting on September 1, 2023, all places that sell kratom in Texas will have to meet the state’s regulatory guidelines for consumer safety and knowledge.

After many successful efforts to regulate kratom, Texas lawmakers finally prevailed in making it a reality.

Where to Buy Kratom in Texas: Final Words of Advice

Come September, all Texas kratom products will be regulated—but sharing the same state regulation requirements doesn’t mean that all kratom vendors are equal.

We still recommend doing your research to buy kratom from a company that makes every effort to be totally honest with their customers. We recommend buying from a kratom vendor who has supported the Kratom Consumer Protection Act from the start—not just after regulation became a requirement.

When buying kratom online and shipping kratom to Texas, it’s especially important to ensure that the vendor follows all of the guidelines for regulation, offers third-party lab tests on their website, and provides informative labels on their products.

Know how to identify kratom vendors to stay away from, and support companies that you feel good about buying.

Kratom Tea, Texas-Style

If you’re thinking about trying kratom, we strongly recommend our 100% natural kratom tea bags. At the very least, we recommend you verify that your kratom is lab-tested, produced in a quality-controlled facility, and ethically sourced!

Many Texans like their iced tea, so if you fall into this boat, don’t forget to check out our best kratom drinks and iced tea recipes!

Cheers to better brewing!

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Eric Smith
Eric Smith is a writer and kratom-tea drinker from Morgantown, West Virginia. He channels his passion for psychology and sociology into written work about law, historical teas, and his favorite herbal blends. When he’s not behind a keyboard, Eric enjoys staying active, exploring history, and indulging his wanderlust by visiting exciting new destinations.

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