Kratom legality in the United States is a bit complex. On the federal level, Kratom remains completely legal. However, some states and municipalities have decided to enact a kratom ban, making kratom illegal in their territories. The Kratom laws in this country are the exact opposite of the cannabis situation.
Currently, six states have a Kratom ban: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Wisconsin was actually the first state to implement a statewide Kratom ban back in 2013. But once that happened, Kratom advocates began fighting back against it.
Each year, Kratom advocacy groups and citizens have appealed to elected officials in Wisconsin to rethink their stance on Kratom. And recently, they started making some headway. At the end of 2019, the Wisconsin State Health Committee held a hearing on Kratom. The senators seemed receptive to the herbal commodity. Two years later, representatives finally drafted and introduced a bill that would revoke the Kratom ban and provide a legal channel for the production and distribution of Kratom by local businesses.
The representatives in that state know the legislation as Wisconsin 2021 Assembly Bill 599. But Kratom advocates know it as the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA).
Where Does Kratom Currently Stand in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin Statutes have Kratom listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. It is a Class H Felony in Wisconsin to possess, sell, or distribute kratom. That carries a possible 6-year imprisonment term and a fine of up to $10,000 as punishment. However, some lawmakers are looking to overturn that unjust law.
Currently, a group of bipartisan lawmakers cosponsored the Wisconsin Kratom Consumer Protection Act and introduced it into office on October 7th, 2021. Then it went to the Committee on State Affairs. The bill seeks to overturn the preexisting Kratom ban, allowing its citizens the same rights the federal government gives them: the ability to use, possess, and sell Kratom products without fear of imprisonment.
After its introduction, on December 8th, 2021, the committee organized a public hearing about the potential future of Kratom. Many Kratom advocates attended. The American Kratom Association spoke to policymakers and supported the initiative. However, other groups went to speak out against Kratom, too.
Opioid advocacy groups like the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM) showed up to voice concern over the plant. The WISAM is a staunch supporter of using opioids to treat opioid addiction. But we’ll talk more about them in another article.
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed at the public hearing. Less than a month later, the Wisconsin House State Affairs Committee voted for the bill on January 5th, 2022. And it passed with a 9-2 vote.
The Wisconsin 2021 Assembly Bill 599 (Kratom Bill)
The Wisconsin KCPA would legalize Kratom in the state. It would also place some regulations on potential Kratom businesses. But all the restrictions are consumer-friendly. For instance, the bill makes future Kratom companies adhere to two specific regulatory practices.
- For Kratom manufacturers, Kratom products cannot be sold in Wisconsin if the product…
- is combined with another product that affects the quality or strength of kratom.
- is poisoned or has a controlled substance in it.
- has a higher level of concentration than 2% 7-Hydroxymitragynine.
- is mixed with a synthetic alkaloid.
- does not show the amount of Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine on the label.
- It prohibits the sale of Kratom to minors—anyone under the age of 21.
Anyone caught violating those provisions can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. People found guilty of those crimes can receive a sentence of up to 30 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. So it’s best to stay on the right side of the law.
If the bill passes, it places a couple more stipulations on potential Kratom companies in the state, too.
- Kratom businesses must obtain a food processing plant license from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP).
- Kratom businesses must register their products with the DATCP.
Companies that disregard the regulation are subject to a monetary penalty.
The Steps Needed to Pass the Wisconsin Kratom Bill
Trying to overturn the Kratom ban is a progressive step for Wisconsin legislators. The government leaders are far from a victory at this point. The recent vote by the Wisconsin House State Affairs Committee is the first step to getting the bill passed. It still needs to go through a second reading process with the lower house Wisconsin State Assembly, where representatives can offer amendments and vote on them. Should it pass there, it goes to the upper house Wisconsin State Senate to go through the same process. Once both houses agree and vote positively on the legislation, it’s sent before the governor to sign into law or veto. Should the latter happen, two-thirds of both houses can overturn it with a majority vote.
The threat of a veto does exist. We witnessed it occur recently in Oregon after its legislature passed a version of the KCPA. Governor Kate Brown informed the press that she planned on vetoing the kratom bill after her desk received it. And she did a few days later. The bill then went back to the Houses. However, they were unable to come up with a two-thirds majority vote. So the KCPA died because of the whims of the governor. And the argument she gave for her veto was the FDA was more suitable to govern it. Unfortunately, the FDA refuses to regulate the Kratom industry. So her comment lacked substance.
You Must Fight for Your Kratom Rights in Wisconsin
Hope remains for the people in Wisconsin. Wisconsinites should take advantage of the legislative process that’s currently in action. The Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate members must vote on the proposal in the coming months. That gives the citizens of the state enough time to contact local legislators and tell them why a vote for the KCPA matters to you and your family. Tell them your stories. Give them specifics. Let them know that their votes on the matter can determine your vote for elected representatives in the future.
Right now, the 2022 midterms are upon us. And that gives you leverage in the political arena. After all, they’re supposed to represent you with their votes.
The American Kratom Association (AKA) helped get the KCPA on the docket in Wisconsin. They met with Wisconsin representatives and assisted them to draft the legislation. The Kratom Consumer Protection Act is the AKA’s brainchild. And they hope to get more states to get on board with it. Currently, five states have passed a version. (Oregon would have become the sixth.) In our opinion, all states should have one.
And the AKA could use your help to accomplish that goal. Lobbying efforts are the only way to get the ball moving behind closed doors in politics. And that’s a war chest that constantly needs refilling. So, if you have a little money to spare, donate the AKA today. Your voice matters. The AKA makes sure it’s heard.