Kratom, a botanical substance used traditionally in Southeast Asia for various health issues, has been a subject of ongoing debate in the United States. While it remains legal in Colorado, recent legislation suggests a more regulated future for the plant. Governor Jared Polis recently signed the Regulation of Kratom Processors Act, Senate Bill 22-120, into law, putting Colorado among a growing number of states that have adopted consumer safety regulations for kratom.

What is the Regulation of Kratom Processors Act?

Set to take effect in July 2023, this new law has several key provisions:

Kratom Processor Registration: Any entity processing kratom must register with the Colorado Department of Revenue and disclose specific information about their kratom products.

Investigating Adverse Effects: The law permits the investigation of FDA reports related to adverse effects of kratom products.

Age Restrictions: The sale of kratom products to individuals under the age of 21 is prohibited.

Quality Control: The act prohibits the adulteration of kratom and sets standards for labeling.

Transparency: Names and addresses of registered kratom processors will be published on the department’s website.

Retail Restrictions: Retailers cannot sell or distribute kratom products manufactured by unregistered processors or to individuals under the age of 21.

A Welcome Change for Consumers and Vendors

According to kratom advocates, these regulations are positive news. While reputable producers may need to take extra steps to comply with the law, the regulations will provide a safer landscape for consumers. Under this new framework, individuals can continue to purchase and use kratom, reassured that the products they consume meet specific safety standards.

Impacts on Local Laws

Significantly, this new state law will override local ordinances for residents in cities like Denver, Monument, or Parker, where kratom use or possession is currently illegal or restricted. Starting July 2023, individuals in these areas can legally possess and consume kratom without fear of legal repercussions.

Moving Toward a Balanced Approach

This new legislation, modeled after the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), suggests a shift towards a more balanced regulatory approach. Colorado is moving toward nuanced regulation rather than an outright ban, which many opponents of kratom advocate for. This mirrors a growing sentiment that outright prohibition may not be the best path forward, particularly given the anecdotal reports of kratom’s potential benefits.

The Road Ahead

Although kratom remains a contentious issue, this legislative move could signify a more regulated but also more accepted future for the substance in Colorado. These laws should provide a framework that safeguards consumer health while allowing for the continued use and research of kratom’s potential benefits.

So, is kratom legal in Colorado? Yes, it is, and thanks to these new regulations, it appears that it will remain so, albeit within a more structured and safer framework. The push for responsible regulation rather than prohibition could be an instructive model for other states grappling with the complexities of kratom legislation.