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Is Kratom Legal in Vermont?

Vermont's law on Kratom use

The Green Mountain State of Vermont has long been perceived as a progressive and liberal part of the country. While this remains true in some aspects, kratom advocates feel much differently. Unfortunately, kratom is currently illegal to sell, distribute, or possess. Although this plant is legal in almost the entire country, barring six states (Vermont included), fans of kratom have been dealt a devastating blow.

How Did Kratom Become Illegal in Vermont?

In 2012, Vermont introduced legislation to classify kratom as a regulated, controlled substance. State lawmakers introduced House Bill 747, whose primary purpose was to include kratom’s two main alkaloids (mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine) to the state’s list of Schedule I substances. Substances on this list are those with no known medical use. Within the kratom and scientific community, this has been debated and challenged.

The Governor signed HB 747 in May 2012. In short, this put kratom indefinitely on Vermont’s list of Schedule I substances. Despite blowback from kratom advocacy groups, the law was signed. However, the fight to retain kratom’s legal status continued.

In 2020, lawmakers proposed House Bill 878, which would have decriminalized certain substances used for spiritual, religious, or medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, the bill hasn’t passed beyond its first reading and is currently stalled. If it had been passed, kratom would have been legal to purchase and possess in the state.

Again, in 2023, there was yet another push to make kratom legal within the state. Senate Bill 128 was introduced. Known as the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, it would have made kratom legal to purchase. Still, it would have some consumer protections, such as not being sold to minors, requiring proper and accurate product labeling, and disallowing any impure substances to be added. Unfortunately, much like House Bill 878, it was read and referred to the Senate Committee on Health & Welfare, which is where it remains.

Many states in the country have passed their own Kratom Consumer Protection Act, so there’s still hope that it could happen in Vermont. With pressure from kratom advocacy groups, the plant’s illegal status could be overturned. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet.

The Consequences of Possessing Kratom in Vermont

It’s important to know that kratom is not legal to possess in Vermont, even if you reside in a state where its purchase and use are legal. If you live in one of these states and are visiting Vermont, do not believe you have a protected right to bring it to Vermont. If you are found to possess kratom within the state of Vermont, there will be legal repercussions.

Possession of smaller amounts, usually under 224mg, mainly results in receiving a fine. However, the distribution of kratom or the possession of large amounts could result in stiff fines and possible imprisonment. The consequences of possessing kratom in Vermont can be severe.

The American Kratom Association is advocating to lift the ban on kratom.

Will Kratom Remain Illegal in Vermont?

The future of kratom in Vermont remains uncertain. While it remains illegal in the state, advocacy groups are on the frontlines of the battle to reverse its illegal status. The American Kratom Association is fighting to reverse the ban on kratom. However, they do support some regulations on its sale. Regulations can ensure that kratom remains unadulterated and safe for everyone. The AKA supports the following regulations:

  • Age restrictions – Limiting the sales of kratoms to those over 18 or 21 years of age
  • Product labeling – The AMA supports accurate labeling of kratom products, including information about serving sizes and ingredients
  • Lab testing – To ensure that all kratom products are unadulterated, the AMA supports rigorous testing to ensure that no dangerous substances are added

In short, the American Kratom Association fully supports the nationwide passage of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. The 118th Congress read this bill twice and referred it to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on October 4, 2023. No further action has been taken.

Kratom is brewed as tea and used ceremonially.

FAQs About Kratom

What Is Kratom?

Native to Southeast Asia, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree in the same family as the coffee bush. It can be found in countries like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where its leaves have been chewed or brewed into a tea for centuries and used for ceremonial purposes. Now popular in the West for its many qualities, kratom can be taken as capsules or gummies, brewed into teas, or added to smoothies.

Is Kratom Legal in My State?

The legalities of kratom have been a hotly debated topic for many years. In 2016, the DEA announced its intention to add kratom to the list of Schedule I substances, hence making it illegal throughout the country. Fortunately, advocacy groups like the American Kratom Association fought them, and the DEA withdrew their intention. While kratom is still legal in most of the country, there are six states where it’s banned. These states include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin
  • Vermont

How Is Kratom Made?

What is commonly referred to as kratom is derived from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa. The leaves could be picked when young or mature, depending on the strain. Once harvested, the leaves are dried to remove moisture by laying them out in the sun or within modern drying facilities. The next step is to grind them into a fine powder and package them.

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