There are a few places in the South where kratom is illegal to buy, sell, or possess—so what does that mean for kratom in Kentucky? Is kratom legal in Kentucky? It’s important to understand the laws before you shop.
A Quick Primer on Kratom in the U.S.
Kratom is a natural, alkaloid-rich botanical originating from the Mitragyna speciosa tree, an evergreen tree that grows abundantly in Southeast Asia. Its popularity in the U.S. has taken off in recent years, although this rich herbal substance has been known locally for decades. It may have been introduced to Americans during the Vietnam War, when soldiers stationed overseas discovered the herb and brought it home.
In recent years, there have been efforts to ban or regulate kratom in almost all 50 states. The proposed kratom bans have largely been initiated in response to safety warnings from the federal government—particularly the FDA and the DEA. However, these safety concerns stem from misconceptions about what kratom is and how it functions. Even the World Health Organization has opposed implementing a global kratom ban, noting that there’s insufficient evidence suggesting that kratom should be restricted.
Nevertheless, six states have banned kratom outright, as have a number of cities and counties throughout the U.S (such as San Diego, California). In addition, several states have implemented varying levels of regulation. Certain regulations, like those outlined in the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), have helped to create a safer kratom marketplace in states like Utah and Nevada.
So what are the current Kentucky kratom laws?
Is Kratom Legal in Kentucky?
As of this writing, kratom is legal in Kentucky. You can access it in all 120 counties and 418 cities therein. There are no restrictions in regard to age, location, or product type. As long as the product isn’t adulterated with any illegal substances, you can purchase or possess it without fear of legal reprisal.
In the past, there have been efforts to restrict kratom in Kentucky. In 2016, for example, state legislators introduced a bill (Senate Bill 136) that would have classified kratom as a synthetic opioid and banned it as a controlled substance throughout the state. However, the bill died in chamber and was never made law.
Currently, there are no pending legislative efforts to restrict kratom in Kentucky. However, while kratom is legal in Kentucky, you have to be careful when traveling outside of the state. Kratom is illegal in neighboring Indiana, which may be a concern if you regularly travel to Southern Indiana for work or leisure. Kratom is also illegal in nearby Alabama and Arkansas, as well as in Columbus and Union County Mississippi. If you’re venturing north into Illinois, you’ll want to keep your kratom out of Alton and Jerseyville.
Is Kratom Regulated in Kentucky?
Just as states like Nevada, Utah, Georgia, and Arizona have enacted comprehensive kratom safety regulations, there have been multiple efforts to do the same for kratom in Kentucky. For instance, Kentucky Senate Bill 241—a variation of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act—was introduced by Senator Adrienne Southworth (R) in February of 2021, and a very similar bill (House Bill 569) was introduced to the state House of Representatives in March of 2022.
Each bill varies in its language and stipulations. For instance, the House bill imposes a minimum age restriction (limiting kratom to buyers 21 and over) while the Senate bill has no such stipulation.
Both bills, however, contain a few common conventions of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, such as by limiting kratom products to no more than 2% of the alkaloid 7-hydroxymitragynine and by imposing clear, transparent labeling for kratom products. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, both bills prohibit the use of synthetic alkaloids in kratom products.
Unfortunately, both bills have stalled for the time being, but advocacy organizations like the American Kratom Association are working to gain momentum for these and similar bills in Kentucky and across the U.S. If you’d like to get involved, please refer to our kratom advocacy guide. If enough of us speak up, we can help to ensure the passage of sensible Kentucky kratom laws.
Buying Kratom in Kentucky
Kratom is legal in Kentucky, but you have to consider more than just the law. Because kratom is still unregulated in the state, products can vary quite a bit in quality. Some—particularly those with synthetic ingredients—may even be unsafe.
First, make sure you know who you’re buying from. Don’t choose products blindly. Research the vendors, refer to consumer reviews, and look carefully at the ingredients. You should only be seeing 100% all-natural Mitragyna speciosa (kratom leaf). Avoid anything that contains synthetic alkaloids or non-kratom adulterants. Stick with trusted brands that are well-known and well-vetted.
As you shop for kratom, you’ll notice that you have a lot of options in Kentucky: convenience stores, health food stores, gas stations, specialty stores, smoke shops, the list goes on. However, while it might seem convenient to buy from your local strip mall, we highly recommend that you buy kratom online instead.
Online brands are easier to research and tend to offer better prices. More importantly, brands that sell online are more likely to adhere to high quality standards since they have to follow the requirements of the most strictly regulated states. In other words, you’re getting the same products that are sold in Nevada and Utah—where safety standards are uncompromising.
A Quick Summary of Kentucky Kratom Laws
To sum it all up:
- Is kratom legal in Kentucky? Yes!
- Is kratom regulated in Kentucky? No. So you have to research brands and products carefully before you buy.
- When road-tripping out of state, keep in mind that kratom is illegal in Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Columbus and Union County Mississippi, and Alton and Jerseyville Illinois.
And if you’re looking for high-quality kratom to enjoy in the Bluegrass State, be sure to explore the full selection at The Kratom Company. Our selection of all-natural kratom capsules, kratom powders, and kratom extracts is the best you’ll find in the state.
Enjoy kratom in Kentucky, but always know what you’re buying!