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Breaking News: Rhode Island’s Updated Stance on Kratom Legality

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While kratom can be enjoyed in most of the country, some states have enacted bans on this popular ethnobotanical. States that have made the active ingredients in this product illegal (effectively banning kratom), include Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Vermont, Wisconsin, and the Ocean State of Rhode Island. But that may be changing soon.

The Ocean State Ban

The sale and possession of kratom became illegal in the Ocean State in 2017 when the RI Department of Health decided to act under the assumption that kratom would soon be classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level. That ban has remained in place ever since.

But things may soon change in Rhode Island thanks to the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, or Senate Bill SB 2704.

Fighting The Ban

Kratom bans have shown that misinformation, apathy, and bad science can influence lawmakers into making bad policy decisions. The American Kratom Association (AKA) is a consumer advocacy group that works on behalf of kratom users. It has been instrumental in helping to craft common-sense kratom policies and has helped organize opposition to efforts to ban kratom in states around the nation.

Earlier this year, with help from AKA, State Senators V. Susan Sosnowski, Hanna M. Gallo, Sandra Cano,  and Jacob Bissaillon, sponsored SB 2704, known as The Kratom Consumer Protection Act. The goal of this legislation is to remove the ban, restore the legality of kratom in Rhode Island, and apply regulations to protect consumer confidence and safety. It seeks the following goals:

  • To stop the marketing of kratom products adulterated or enhanced in a way that may cause injury or harm.
  • Ensure products are labeled with dosage instructions.
  • To punish non-compliant sellers with fines.

The bill was introduced to the Rhode Island General Assembly on March 1, 2024. It was voted on in the state senate and the house on June 13, 2024.

Consequences Of The Rhode Island Kratom Ban

Passage of any bill through both the House and the Senate is a feat in itself. Without State Senators Cano, Sosnowski, Gallo, and Bissaillon, who sponsored the bill, and Representative John G. Edwards, who introduced the bill, lifting the ban would likely never have been considered. That would be a shame for the residents of Rhode Island.

Possible negative effects of the ban extend to economic and public health concerns. It denies the ability of the people to exercise freedom in their healthcare decisions, and it denies the state revenue derived from kratom sales that may have provided millions of dollars that could have been spent on roads, bridges, and public works. Restoring kratom legality in Rhode Island is in the best interest of the state and its citizens.

June 13 Vote Results 

The Senate of Rhode Island, or at least a majority of lawmakers (19 yes, 14 no, and 4 undecided), agreed to pass the bill. A concurrent vote in the House (39 yes, 20 no, and 16 undecided) affirmed the passage of the bill. The next step is the governor’s desk, where the bill will either be signed and made into law or vetoed. A third action, or taking no action, can allow the bill to be enacted by default.

So while it’s not a sure thing, there is a good chance that the ban on kratom in Rhode Island may be on its way out. It all depends on the governor, Daniel McKee. If he decides to sign the bill or allow it to become law, the ban on kratom will be officially lifted on January 1, 2025.

Add Your Voice

Anyone who pays attention to politics knows that legislators don’t always act on behalf of constituents. The future of kratom may rest in the hands of individuals who don’t understand it and fail to exercise due diligence when it comes to research. We’re all familiar with elected officials who have been swayed by well-paid lobbyists, and the pharmaceutical industry would love to reduce competition for prescription medicines and high-profit margin drugs. But what can you do about it?

Building and lighthouse on Rhode Island’s coast

You can help the governor make the final decision on the legality of kratom in Rhode Island by letting him know how you feel. Write a letter to clearly and respectfully describe how kratom has benefited your quality of life. Describe how it has helped you and why denying access to these products may cause harm. Address it to:

Office of the Governor
82 Smith Street
Providence, RI 02903

Make sure to mention that you are a registered voter. If you’re not a registered voter, get registered so your voice carries more weight with elected officials.

Anthony Dent is one of the founders of The Kratom Company who has had years of personal and professional experience in the industry. As a kratom user himself, he is an advocate for all the potential benefits kratom can offer users both new and experienced. As the industry and legal atmosphere change, Anthony stays up to date on the latest Kratom Consumer Protection Acts to keep readers up to date with reliable information.
Anthony DentFounding Member

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