Women, Weather, and…Kratom?
It may not have been what Kendrick Lamar had in mind when he teamed up with the legendary Dr. Dre on their hit song Recipe, all about the perks of California livin’, but the west coast has always enjoyed certain advantages. Paired with good weather and beautiful scenery, the Pacific states have always been a cultural landmark. The region leads not only with its outsized personality but also its progressive ideologies.
California was the first state to take medical marijuana seriously, having opened the door to the wave of legalizations we see now all the way back in the 1980s. Its northern neighbors were some of the first to follow. Along with progressive social movements, the west coast plays an important role as a sort of litmus test that much of the country eventually seems to follow. It proves no different with kratom, which is legal in California. Groups like the American Kratom Association are sweeping across the country and enlighten legislators to the benefits of keeping kratom available to the masses, and this has come with good effect.
Kratom on the West Coast
Kratom is legal in Oregon and Washington, as well as California. As the region closest to kratom’s native habitat, the Southeastern Pacific island chains, the west coast has prolific kratom commerce. Dozens of stores dot Los Angeles, CA, with some dedicated exclusively to kratom. This is a rarity in the rest of the country, where most kratom is sold along with other products in head shops or online.
The American Kratom Association has sent out its finest with the likes of Mac Haddow to traverse the states and enact the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). The KCPA would preempt any federal bans like the FDA tried and failed to enact in 2016 after a public outcry from politicians and the general population alike. The AKA has seen excellent results but has not made the west coast a priority, where kratom is legal in California, Oregon, and Washington.
This bodes well for a number of reasons. First, it suggests that the AKA is confident that the west coast is already supportive of kratom. And as we mentioned above, as states like California and Oregon play such a crucial role as a sort of ‘gatekeeper’ of many aspects of American culture 一 especially as it pertains to more libertarian aspects of personal agency 一 this means that the region serves as an important bulwark for the sustainability of kratom.
What the Future of Kratom Holds
The stability of kratom in this region can also be inferred from other events. For instance, in Washington state, kratom is legal, though a new law was suggested that would ban people under the age of 18 from purchasing kratom. This implies they are not targeting kratom itself but looking to regulate it 一 as we can all agree is reasonable and probably necessary. This suggests an acceptance that kratom is here to stay. Expanding on these ideas of regulation, Oregon drew up a bill declaring requisites for those wishing to sell kratom. Again, while this may seem worrisome and restrictive, it actually strengthens kratom’s position. When well regulated, it will be less prone to scrutiny and is more likely to remain that kratom is legal in California, Oregon, and Washington. Regulation can help prevent occurrences like that of 2017, where bad product was sold from a tainted supplier, of what we can only assume was a shoddy operation to start. In decades of kratom use in the United States, this is a blue moon occurrence. This incident, while not in scope with the FDA’s crosshairs, gave them ammunition with which to take potshots at the industry. Regulation would help preclude these types of issues.
It’s a good sign that the west coast is ahead of the curve. In many ways, culture seems to migrate from the West to the East in a quasi-polar Oregon Trail. The fact that these states are seeking to improve the safety and efficacy of the kratom industry projects a stable outlook for the market there. Astoria, Oregon, has seen a kratom advocacy rally as recently as 2019 when a weak and unpopular bill would have overreached on kratom regulation; with a popular contingency, generally progressive ideals, and sensible legislation forthcoming, kratom seems to have found a home on the west coast. With these stable outcomes, we can expect kratom to remain legal in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Want to learn how you can contribute to the efforts to keep kratom legal in Oregon and the rest of the West Coast? Follow our blog and shop high-quality products like our premium Red Bali powder at The Kratom Company.