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?
Kratom Legality in California
Kratom is currently legal everywhere in California except the city of San Diego. In 2016, the city of San Diego banned the sale, use, and possession of kratom. Their reasoning was that they didn’t believe there was enough evidence to prove it was safe. There were also a couple of deaths link 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 from 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.
This is why kratom users have to continuously check up on the kratom laws in both their state and local municipality.
The Fight for Safe Kratom Laws
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.
Where to Buy 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 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.
Disclaimer: kratom is not used to treat, cure, or mitigate any disease, illness, ailment, and/or condition. Please see FDA import alert 54-15. We make no representations as to intended use or suitability for use.