Bipartisan Congressional Lawmakers File Bill Regulating Kratom Nationally

October 12, 2023 13:03:31

Congressional lawmakers have filed a bill titled the Kratom Consumer Protection Act to regulate kratom and kratom products nationally. The measure is slated to attract bipartisan support in the Senate and House of Representatives and has a decent chance of reaching President Joe Biden’s desk.

Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee sponsored the Kratom Consumer Protection Act while New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is expected to join as a cosponsor once Congress resumes session next week. Booker was also a cosponsor for a 2022 bill dubbed the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act that would have ensured that consumers gain access to kratom while protecting consumers from any legal reprisals for possessing or using kratom.

The measure would have barred the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) from imposing kratom requirements considered more restrictive compared to those allowed by the l FDA Act (FDAC).

On the House of Representatives side, Representatives Jack Bergman and Mark Pocan have sponsored the recently filed Kratom Consumer Protection Act. Representative Marc Haddow explains that with the exception of its name, the new measure features elements that are nearly identical to the 2022 kratom measure sponsored by Booker.

Haddow, also a senior fellow on public policy at the American Kratom Association, says creating a “properly regulated kratom marketplace” will allow for safe and equitable access to properly manufactured kratom products. He thanked the sponsors of the recently filed bill for acknowledging that consumers should be protected from the “unregulated kratom marketplace.”

While this unregulated market has allowed many Americans to access and use kratom for therapeutic reasons, the lack of regulation has resulted in the proliferation of contaminated products that can result in severe side effects and even death. A statement from Haddow called the kratom measure’s introduction the beginning of a “very important initiative” for every American kratom consumer and advocate as well as the American Kratom Association.

He called on the public and advocates to join the bipartisan team of lawmakers behind the bill and convince the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate kratom rather than ban it outright. Proper regulation would prevent the growth of a large kratom black market while ensuring that U.S. residents have the freedom to access safe kratom products.

The measure would compel the FDA to begin evaluating the safety and health of kratom while prohibiting it from issuing kratom regulations that are more restrictive than food and dietary supplement regulations. It would also require the HHS secretary to hold at least one public meeting on the scientifically proven benefits and public health risks associated with kratom use.

Enterprises such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL) that focus on developing medicinal formulations from psychoactive substances such as ketamine may have a keen interest in the proposed law on kratom because it could herald future drug-policy reforms at the federal level.

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