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Is Kratom Legal in California? 2023 Update

California is known for a relatively laid-back view towards botanicals. They were the first state to legalize medical marijuana in the ‘90s, and recreational marijuana is also currently legal. As someone interested in trying kratom, you might have asked yourself is kratom legal in California? It’s a great question and one that may come as a surprise, as it is legal everywhere in the state of California except for San Diego. Let’s find out more about the legalities of kratom in California.

Is Kratom Legal in California - by Oasis Kratom

Is Kratom Legal in California?

Kratom is currently legal everywhere in California except in the city of San Diego. In 2016, the city of San Diego banned the sale, use, and possession of kratom. They reasoned that they didn’t believe there was enough evidence to prove it was safe. There were also a couple of deaths linked to a gas station brand of kratom tainted with a painkiller.

City officials decided to lump it in with synthetic drugs like bath salts (synthetic MDMA) and spice (synthetic marijuana). This is the typical classification municipalities go with when banning kratom. In San Diego, kratom is treated like any other Schedule 1 drug. Possession is a misdemeanor and possession with the intent to sell is a felony. There is a problem with localized kratom laws. 

A user who lives in the town over San Diego might assume that since it’s legal in their town, it’s legal statewide. They drive into San Diego for an errand one day and get pulled over. The cop sees a package that says kratom, which the driver forgot to take into his house before he left. Now this person is facing a misdemeanor. You can buy kratom in all major cities in California including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and Oakland, but the only exception is San Diego. This is why kratom users have to continuously check up on the kratom laws in both their state and local municipality.

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Kratom Legislation in California

Since the beginning of 2020, San Diego County has been looking to follow in the steps of the city of San Diego. This is the second most populated California county with 4,526 square miles of land and 18 cities. The implications could be huge for kratom users. The original proposition brought to the board of supervisors was to declare the kratom plant a public health nuisance. This would put a de facto ban on both sale and use.

In February of 2020, the board of county supervisors voted 4-1 against declaring the plant a public health nuisance. They gave county organizations 60 days to come up with possible solutions, including a ban on kratom. Their ruling was persuaded by the plethora of county residents who spoke positively about their experience with kratom.

It was also affected by the efforts of the American Kratom Association. For those that don’t know, the American Kratom Association (AKA) is a kratom advocacy group that educates lawmakers as to why they should regulate kratom instead of banning it outright. The Health and Human Services department, sheriff’s department, and medical examiner’s office have all agreed to consult with the AKA before making their recommendations to lawmakers.

The AKA advocates for the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. Passing this act fully regulates the sale and possession of kratom. All kratom packaging is required to list results from lab testing that shows alkaloid content and freedom of impurities. The current pandemic has delayed the county’s next vote, but this article will be updated as soon as a ruling is made.

Classification of Kratom in California

Kratom is not regulated at a federal level, so each state, city, and town is left to decide how they want to treat kratom. Many states face a similar situation that California is in. While the state has not banned the use of kratom, San Diego has decided to place a classification on this herb.

In doing so, consumers can not possess or use kratom in San Diego. It has been classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning possession is a misdemeanor, and possession with the intent to sell is a felony. However, the AKA is actively working to try and get the Kratom Consumer Protection Act in place to help release this classification of kratom.

Is Kratom Popular In California?

With some negative press surrounding this herb, kratom still seems to be a popular herb in California. You will find kratom in many smoke shops, vape shops, and specialty shops across the state. However, do not expect to find it anywhere in San Diego at this time. Also, it is important to note that online vendors will not ship to any address where kratom is a ban. 

Buying and Shipping Kratom in California 

There are three different “levels” when it comes to buying kratom. Level one is gas stations and smoke shops. Gas stations are the least trustworthy source to buy kratom near you. They are the most likely to buy their supply with profitability in mind rather than safety.

Their prices will be the highest and their product knowledge will be the lowest. Smoke shops are a little better, but not by much.

Level two is the botanical shops. Since they specialize in botanicals like kratom, CBD, and kava, they typically have more kratom strains available than gas stations. They also have higher product knowledge. Level three is online kratom vendors. These vendors usually specialize exclusively in kratom products. They have the widest variety of strains and the highest product knowledge. Just keep in mind that all vendors are not created equally.

Make sure you buy from kratom vendors that are official members of the AKA Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) standards program. As a GMP member, our kratom passes the strictest standards when it comes to purity and alkaloid content. Now that you know the answer to is kratom legal in California, check out our shop to find a strain that’s right for you.

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As mentioned above, the American Kratom Association (AKA) is the main support group for kratom throughout the nation. When there is any talk of banning kratom, the AKA will get involved. They have been able to overturn many legislations and save kratom from being ban. 

 It is their goal to regulate the kratom industry by getting all states to implement the KCPA. This act will help keep consumers safe and make vendors more compliant with the products that they are offering. 

 The AKA is a consumer group, so they are not for corporate gain. They are known for lobbying in areas where kratom is in jeopardy. They actively monitor federal, state, city, and municipal legislation. To learn more about the AKA and their active efforts, check out their website


The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) is a bill that will help place regulations on the kratom industry throughout the nation. The KCPA will address the following concerns:

  • Manufacture, distribute sell, and possession of kratom
  • Manufacture, distribution, and sale of contaminated or adulterated kratom
  • Any age limits 
  • Fines and penalties 
  • Testing kratom   
  • Labeling kratom products

This Act aims to make kratom a safe industry for consumers and to ensure that vendors are following proper protocols. The KCPA was introduced by the American Kratom Association (AKA) along with the Botanical Education Alliance (BEA).

Is Kratom’s Legal Status In Jeopardy?

Overall, as a nation, the legal status of kratom seems to be stable. With the AKA actively working to get every state on board with the KCPA, these regulations should help deter any type of bans being placed on kratom. More and more states are jumping on board with the KCPA, which means that the talk of banning kratom nationwide is becoming less.

Will California Ban Kratom?

There is no talk of banning kratom in the sunny state of California. However, you should know that when one area bans a product such as kratom, there is a higher likelihood that other areas will also begin looking at placing a ban. This has not been the case so far in California, and the 

AKA hopes to keep it that way. The most important thing you can do as a kratom consumer is to advocate when possible. Get involved with the AKA and see how you can directly help them.

Where Can I Buy Kratom In California?

There are loads of places that sell kratom in Cali. You will find it in dispensaries, smoke shops, specialty shops, and a number of other places. Here are just a few you can check out when visiting California.

Cali Botanicals Kratom

You will find a variety of strains when you visit Cali Botanicals Kratom. They are known for their high-quality products and amazing customer service. Their powder comes from Indonesia and is lab tested for purity.

  • Location: 3250 Monier Cir STE H, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
  • Phone: (916) 352-7664
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 10 to 7, Saturday 10 to 6, Sunday 10 to 4

Online Kratom

Do not let the name fool you, as Online Kratom is also a physical store. They are known to provide friendly service and have a knowledgeable staff. Plus, they have a large range of kratom products for you to choose from.

  • Location: 325 E Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832
  • Phone: (714) 494-9534
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 8 to 5, Saturday 8 to 2, Sunday closed

Bumble Bee Botanicals

If you want to visit a place that has a chill atmosphere then you will want to try Bumble Bee Botanicals. The store is clean and has very friendly staff. They stock a ton of kratom items, which means you will be spoiled for choice.

  • Location: 8047 La Mesa Blvd Unit C, La Mesa, CA 91942
  • Phone: (619) 724-4892
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 10 to 8, Saturday – Sunday 11 to 7

Up In Smoke Smoke Shop (CBD + Kratom)

Known for its good prices, Up In Smoke is a favorite among locals. They have a variety of products which include CBD and Kratom. You will also find a number of other specialty items including glassware.

  • Location: 1466 E Foothill Blvd, Upland, CA 91786
  • Phone: (909) 985-0081
  • Hours: Monday to Sunday 9 to 7

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Now that you know that kratom is legal in California, you have to find a trusted source. Many people choose to use an online vendor, as the variety, quality, and pricing tend to be better. However, since kratom is not regulated there is room for fakes and scams. Therefore, you have to find a reliable and trusted source.

Here are some tips to help you purchase kratom online.

  • Be sure that you choose a vendor who is an active part of the American Kratom Association.
  • Read reviews to understand their interaction with other customers. Doing a little bit of homework will help you see if the company is a good fit for your needs. 
  • Look at the lab testing to ensure they are offering products that are 100% all-natural Mitragyna Speciosa
  • Send an email to the company with a few questions to see how long it takes them to respond. 
  • Ask to see the current lab testing to make sure that the lot that they are currently selling does not contain any type of contaminants. If the company does not conduct these types of tests then you do not want to buy from them. 
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As a part of the American Kratom Association, Oasis Kratom strives to provide you with high-quality products coupled with amazing customer support. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

All products are ethically harvested and we test according to GMP regulations. Each lot is tested 9+ times for salmonella, E. coli, staph, yeast, mold, and to confirm its 100% all-natural Mitragyna Speciosa. Visit our Lab Test page to learn more about our quality assurance measures or to request a copy of our most recent lab test results.

Shop our website and let us know if you have any questions. We hope we have answered your question, “Is kratom legal in California.” Check out our blog to learn more about kratom. 

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Written by Nimesh D

Updated on January 23rd, 2023
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