Kratom is a plant of the coffee family whose leaves are used to make tea, powders, pills and smoked to relax the muscles, fight fatigue, antidepressant, enhance the mood and energy, wean people off dangerous opioids and much more.
Despite these numerous medicinal benefits that any pro-kratom person will confirm, the federal DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are both not impressed. They both have in the past tried to stop the use of kratom and its sale in various manners.
At present they are studying kratom from a scientific standpoint to evaluate it further. The FDA however does warn consumers to not use any of the products that contain till it is better understood. But does that make it legal in the United States at the moment and particularly in New York?
Is Kratom Legal in New York?
Yes! Kratom is legal in the state of New York.
This is not just due to an absence of regulation from the federal government but because the New York legal network has quite a few Bills that make kratom use completely legal in New York.
What are the Kratom laws in New York?
The DEA in 2016 announced that it intended to add kratom to the Scheduled I drugs list like some of the other dangerous drugs like heroin, LSD and cocaine. They cited that kratom that has been seized by various law enforcements in various forms like plants, powders, capsules, tablets, gum/resin, liquids and drug patches pose a risk. They said that these products are uncertain and inconsistent and it is difficult to identify them or their purity levels.
However, in the same year in October 2016 they changed their stance to first studying the plant and its products. This was made possible due to the immense support from the public who challenged them and requested them to reconsider.
Similarly, the FDA has also over the years played the see-saw on kratom legalisation and at present have decided to settle on a course where they shall study it before bringing out their verdict on kratom.
The FDA has in the past compared kratom to morphine in terms of its addiction, dependence and capability for abuse. The FDA while it evaluates more scientific information on kratom also keeps warning consumers from using the product until it is better understood.
They cite the report from the Center for Disease Control where kratom was marked as the drug used in 91 cases of unintentional drug overdose deaths between a period of 18 months from July 2016 to December 2017. However, they also say that in most of these overdose cases, fentanyl was listed as a cause of death which means the person was using more than one medicine or drug.
But the state of New York, being the progressive state it is, have legalised it through a bill that is yet pending final approval. This Senate Bill S6104 will provide a fully legal space for the entire kratom industry to flourish properly in a controlled manner.
Although the state of New York too has seen many bills that intended to ban it and others that wanted to legalise kratom. Sometimes these bills were intended for a specified age limit while at other times they were intended for all ages.
2017 and 2018 saw the arrival of three different bills on kratom in New York State. Two of them (NY A08787 and NY S06924) proposed an age limit for kratom sales and intended to ban kratom for those under 18. The third bill, NY A00231, wanted to completely ban kratom in New York State. But numerous petitions on a variety of platforms like on Facebook and change.org urged the Senate to not pass them and luckily all of these bills finally died in the committee.
There is another bill which was introduced in 2019 and is still live. This Bill NY S00168 intends to prohibit the sale of kratom to anyone under 18 years of age. It also attracts a penalty of $500 to anyone found selling kratom to minors. This was accepted by the kratom advocates as it is a better option to have an age restriction than have a complete ban.
Where to buy Kratom in New York?
Kratom is available in New York almost all places. Some of the better known ones in no order of preference are here:
- East Village Smoke Shop, 177 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
- East Side Cigars & Smoke Shop, 279 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
- Ali Baba Smoke Shop, 328 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003
- Jubilee Smoke & Vape Shop, 1211 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10028
- Empire Smokeshop and CBD, Kratom Store, 921 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10025
- Kings of Smoke, 99 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
Why you shouldn’t buy Kratom locally
The FDA and the DEA are both trying to figure out the pros and cons of kratom via elaborate scientific studies. At present there are no laws or regulations that govern the kratom products on a federal level at all. So, there is a high probability that one might get a contaminated product in the market.
The Bill on kratom in New York State is yet to be turned into an proper Act. In this time of transition, there are no legislations that govern kratom. Hence, the onus of providing quality falls on the kratom operator and their relationship with you. Some might provide you just about anything in the name of kratom – intentionally or otherwise.
You might not just get duped of your money in such cases but might be opening yourself up to other potential and deadly risks in terms of an infection or a disease riding along on an untested product. Local buying could also leave you with a piped down version of the product as the quality of kratom depends upon a variety of factors that need to be monitored and regulated strictly to produce a proper product.
So it is best not to buy from a local seller until the laws are set regarding kratom cultivation, processing and marketing. While some unscrupulous people will try to make a quick buck in such a seemingly lawless scenario, there are a lot more who would do the right thing too. So be aware and do not buy from small time local vendors for the time being and err on the side of caution. The best way out is to buy kratom from only either well reputed stores who have been around for a while or buy kratom online.
Where can you buy Kratom online?
Big online vendors usually have a nationwide presence which is a proof of their commitment towards providing a quality product. Others ensure that they have a routine third party checks of their products for enhanced safety and quality.
The online world has brought the market within the privacy of your home and it is easier to find brands that have a good reputation and are trustworthy like Coastline Kratom and others. Online buying also provides innumerable offers and discounts saving you a bit.
For the yet uninitiated, online also provides a place to check which kratom strain is best for you. Most online stores provide all the different strains as a package. This gives you the chance to taste them all and figure out which product suits you best. Kratom comes in three varieties, red, white and green and its products may have a mixture of these three or may be completely made up of only a single variety. And if in case you do not like the product for whatever reason or if the variety of kratom you ordered does not suit you, most online players have an easy return and refund policy.
Do remember to check the reviews section before you buy to get an idea about the vendor and their products.
New York at present does not have any legal limitations on storing, using, selling, processing, et al of kratom. Once SB S6104 gets approved it will bring with it all sorts of laws and quality checks to ensure the customer remains completely safe. So, please follow your local laws and remain updated.
Till then do enjoy the benefits of kratom while you remain actively knowledgeable about the place from where you procure your kratom product. Be safe!