There’s been a lot of news over the past few months about kratom in Ohio—this in light of recent efforts to regulate the plant. Legislators and activists have been engaging in a lot of heated debate about the legal status of kratom and whether or not regulation is the best way to move forward.
If you’re confused about all of the back and forth or just wondering about the state of kratom in the Buckeye State, we’re here to answer some of the more common questions:
- Is kratom legal in Ohio?
- How are legislators trying to regulate it?
- What would regulation actually look like?
- Why is kratom controversial in the first place?
Let’s break it down
A Quick Overview of Kratom
Before we get into the details of whether kratom is legal in Ohio, let’s begin with some basics:
- What is kratom? Kratom is a natural botanical derived from the mitragyna speciosa evergreen tree, which grows in the forests of Southeast Asia. It’s related to the coffee plant and is commonly sold in the form of kratom powders, kratom capsules, kratom extracts, and other preparations.
- What does kratom do? Research into kratom is still ongoing, but some users love it for its purported range of effects, which may include energy, mood enhancement, focus, calm, relaxation, and relief from physical discomfort.
- What is the legal status of kratom? Kratom is legal at the federal level, and it’s legal in most states throughout the U.S. Some states—like Wisconsin, Rhode Island, Alabama, and Vermont—have opted to ban kratom. Kratom is also banned in certain cities throughout the nation such as San Diego, California.
- Is kratom legal in Ohio? Yes, as of this writing, kratom is legal in Ohio and all of its 88 counties. You’ll commonly find it available for sale in nutrition stores, convenience stores, smoke shops, gas stations, and similar retail establishments.
- Why are states banning kratom? There are a lot of misconceptions about kratom often stemming from poor-quality, unregulated kratom products sold by unscrupulous manufacturers. That’s why it’s so important to buy quality products from reputable manufacturers (more on that later).
Is Kratom Legal in Ohio?
There are no current legal restrictions affecting kratom in Ohio. While you do need to avoid bringing kratom into neighboring Indiana (where kratom has been banned since 2014), you can travel freely throughout Ohio without any legal concerns.
In the past, there have been multiple legislative efforts to ban kratom in the Buckeye State. In 2019, for instance, the state’s Board of Pharmacy voted to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance—placing it in the same class as heroin, ecstasy, and LSD.
However, the plan to schedule kratom was indefinitely put on hold after advocates from the American Kratom Association (AKA) organized a public outreach campaign to educate legislators about the benefits of kratom. Since that time, the AKA has been rallying to promote safety regulations—rather than a kratom prohibition—in Ohio.
Kratom Regulations in Ohio
Just as the state legislature halted plans to ban kratom in Ohio, Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) announced his intention to introduce a bill that would regulate kratom in Ohio. About two years later, state legislators introduced House Bill 236, a bill to regulate kratom processing, sale, and distribution in Ohio.
The bill contains many of the stipulations found in the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (a set of safety regulations that the AKA has been lobbying for in various states across the country):
- Kratom processors would have to register for licensure with the state and adhere to strict processing requirements.
- Legal kratom products would be limited to a maximum of 2% 7-hydroxymitragynine (one of the dominant alkaloids in kratom).
- Kratom products containing synthetic alkaloids would be banned.
- Kratom products containing dangerous non-kratom adulterants would be banned.
- Accurate, transparent labeling would be required. Labels could not contain any language suggesting that kratom can diagnose or treat any medical condition.
- Labels would be required to directions for safe and effective use as well as the recommended serving size.
- Kratom samples would have to undergo lab testing to ensure compliance with state quality requirements.
So far, the bill has passed the state’s House of Representatives and is being reviewed by a Senate Committee. It still needs the approval of the Senate and the governor. If passed, Ohio could become the ninth state to impose sweeping kratom regulations.
The Benefits of Regulating Kratom in Ohio
Kratom has received a lot of negative press over the last few years. In the past, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has even considered adding kratom to the federal Controlled Substances list.
However, data from the World Health Organization suggests that kratom itself isn’t a cause for concern when used responsibly. The WHO notes that most adverse effects attributed to kratom have actually involved a combination of substances in the user’s system—not kratom alone.
When it comes to kratom on its own, the real issue comes not from all-natural kratom alkaloids but from poorly regulated products sold by manufacturers that cut corners or deliberately deceive the public. That’s why regulations are needed. We need product transparency, lab testing, and accountability for manufacturers who flood the market with adulterated, synthetic, and contaminated products. That’s what regulations like the Kratom Consumer Protection Act seek to achieve.
How to Shop for Kratom in Ohio
Though kratom is legal in Ohio, there are still some important guidelines to heed. When buying kratom in Ohio or anywhere else, heed the following tips:
- Buy kratom online and skip the gas station. Stick with trusted, well-reviewed brands.
- Read the label carefully. Make sure you’re getting 100% natural kratom—no synthetics or adulterants.
- Know what you’re buying. Red strain kratom is reported to have relaxing characteristics while white strain kratom is noted for being more uplifting. Green strain kratom offers balanced effects that fall in between red and white. Research strains carefully to find which is best for you.
Finally, visit The Kratom Company regularly to get updates on the latest kratom news and laws—as well as the finest kratom on the planet!