If you want to enjoy some fresh kratom just south of the Mason Dixon Line, it’s important to understand the laws. Kratom restrictions and regulations can vary significantly from one Mid-Atlantic location to the next, and the details can get a bit confusing. So is kratom legal in Maryland? And are there any guidelines you should be aware of?
Is Kratom Legal in the State of Maryland?
Yes, kratom is legal in Maryland without limitation. There was one effort to restrict kratom in Maryland in 2020, but it was unsuccessful. Maryland Senate Bill 147 sought to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which would have rendered it illegal throughout the state.
After some deliberation on the Senate floor, the bill was amended to instead limit kratom sales to buyers over 18 years of age. According to the final text of the bill, kratom sellers would be required to check ID for kratom sales. However, the final hearing was ultimately canceled and the bill died in committee. As a result, kratom is still legal in Maryland with no age limits in place.
Efforts to Regulate Kratom in Maryland
Around the same time that lawmakers were considering a kratom ban in Maryland, advocates from the American Kratom Association (AKA) were pushing for a more sensible alternative: kratom regulation. The AKA is best known for laying the groundwork for the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), a set of common-sense guidelines that seek to promote safety and accountability in the kratom market without banning kratom outright.
The KCPA has already been made law in several other states, including Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia. Several more states have considered it or are considering it right now. In Rhode Island, for instance, lawmakers are weighing House Bill 5330, which would codify the KCPA (this would be an enormous step as kratom is currently illegal in Rhode Island).
The stipulations of the KCPA vary from state to state, but common guidelines include the following:
- A minimum age restriction for kratom purchase and possession (usually 18 or 21)
- Third-party lab testing requirements for kratom
- Accurate and transparent kratom labeling
- Tamper-proof kratom packaging
- A ban on synthetic ingredients and non-kratom adulterants
- Limitations on certain alkaloid concentrations
- A requirement that kratom manufacturers and vendors register with the state
Although advocates were unsuccessful in getting Maryland lawmakers to consider the KCPA in 2020, their push may have been instrumental in reducing SB147 from a full-fledged kratom ban to a mere age restriction.
If you’d like to see the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in Maryland, you can still write to your lawmakers and stress the importance of safe kratom regulations. The American Kratom Association has some excellent resources you can refer to.
If Kratom is Legal in Maryland, Can You Possess Kratom in Washington DC?
There is still some confusion about the legal status of kratom in neighboring Washington DC. If you travel across the state line into our nation’s capital for work or leisure, this may be of immediate interest to you.
In 2016, DC lawmakers added 7-hydroxymitragynine (kratom’s second most dominant alkaloid) to the city’s controlled substances list, effectively banning all kratom products across the board. However, after protest from kratom supporters, 7-hydroxymitragynine was removed from the controlled substances list in 2018.
As a result of this shift, kratom is once again legal in Washington DC. So you don’t need to worry if your daily commute takes you in and out of DC and you happen to have some kratom capsules in your gym bag.
What to Know Before Buying Kratom in Maryland
Although kratom is legal in Maryland, there are still some things you should know before buying. For instance, not all kratom is good kratom. Part of the reason why kratom remains controversial among lawmakers is because there are many poor-quality kratom products flooding the market. With that in mind, it’s very important to be a discriminating shopper.
When looking to buy kratom powders and other products, note the following red flags:
- Vague or missing ingredients list
- Synthetic ingredients or additives
- Non-kratom ingredients
- Poor consumer reviews (or no reviews)
- Brand/manufacturer with minimal track record online
- Kratom grown outside of Southeast Asia
- Too-good-to-be-true promises from the manufacturer
For best results, buy kratom online and make sure that it’s all-natural and well-vetted. Avoid the gas stations and convenience stores and stick with trusted online brands that are transparent about how their products are grown, processed, and guaranteed.
Unfortunately, there are still no kratom regulations in Maryland, but when you buy from a reputable online brand like The Kratom Company, you’re buying from a company that has to adhere to the regulations of the most stringently regulated states like Utah and Arizona (otherwise we wouldn’t be able to sell kratom in several states). In addition, buying online saves you money since there is less overhead, fewer middlemen, and more products to choose from.
A Quick Recap of Kratom in Maryland
Just to sum it all up:
- Is kratom legal in Maryland? Yes! There are currently no restrictions in place.
- Kratom is also legal in neighboring Washington DC (as of 2018).
- Kratom is still unregulated in Maryland, so shop carefully and buy from reputable brands.
- Contact your local representatives if you’d like to see the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in Maryland.
- Only buy pure, all-natural kratom from trusted vendors that you can easily research and vet online.
- Avoid buying kratom from gas stations, liquor stores, head shops, and other brick-and-mortar locations if possible—unless you’re extremely familiar with the brand and you know they offer a safe, quality product.
Even though kratom is legal in Maryland, you still have to be a discerning shopper. So know what you’re buying, and make sure you’re getting the best!