Is Kratom Legal in Alabama? An Overview of State Regulations

Alabama is one of the largest states in America, with more than five million residents and millions upon millions of visitors. It’s been estimated that over 28 million people toured the Heart of Dixie in 2021 alone, making it one of the most popular destinations within the United States.

Alabama is synonymous with southern hospitality and the sandy shores of its gulf coast beaches. But it in the past, it has also been associated with quality kratom. There was a time in the 2010s when kratom was all the rage among Alabamians. If this herb has been trending down in the state, it isn’t by mistake.

Changes in the law and mainstream media attention have influenced the future of kratom in Alabama and other large states. A small but significant rash of kratom hospitalizations and the nationwide news coverage that followed played an instrumental role in the shaping of kratom legislation.

Find out all about the history of kratom in the southern state and the current laws governing kratom use in the area. We’ll tell you where kratom is restricted, where you can go to get it, and what you need to know about kratom advocacy.

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When Was Kratom Banned in Alabama?

On May 10, 2016, Governor Bentley signed Alabama Senate Bill 226 into law. Although the bill didn’t mention kratom specifically, it outlawed two of the kratom plant’s most prevalent alkaloids—hydroxymitragynine and mitragynine. Since true kratom always contains these alkaloids, the ban automatically included all kratom products.

Stores that sold kratom in Alabama had only 48 hours to remove it from their shelves and dispose of it. The Marhsall County District Attorney’s office issued a notice to law enforcement agencies and merchants across Northeast Alabama informing them of the prohibition. Anyone who didn’t comply risked a felony charge.

Stores that sold kratom in Alabama had only 48 hours to remove it from their shelves and dispose of it. The Marhsall County District Attorney’s office issued a notice to law enforcement agencies and merchants across Northeast Alabama informing them of the prohibition. Anyone who didn’t comply risked a felony charge.

Individuals were given until 3:30 in the afternoon on May 12th, 2016, to get rid of their kratom products. Other counties followed suit, warning the public that they would be immediately enforcing the new law, which made kratom possession a Class D felony in the state.

What Happens if You Buy Kratom in Alabama?

Whether you purchase kratom in-state or order it from a vendor that still ships to Alabama, you’re violating state law. Be aware that anyone who buys kratom in Alabama could face felony charges.

Those caught with kratom risk an average of two years imprisonment at a community correction facility. A hefty fine may also be owed in addition to jail time. Sentencing depends on the judge, who can sentence Class D felony offenders to a minimum of one year and one day, or a maximum of five years.

As Huffington Post pointed out, Alabama law enforcement officials are very zealous when it comes to enforcing the kratom ban. One woman the media outlet interviewed received a felony trafficking charge after police raided her home. She only had one kilogram of crushed leaves, but that was enough to put her behind bars for several years.

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In this particular case, the woman didn’t purchase kratom in Alabama or have it shipped to her state. Instead, she had it shipped to Florida. Authorities still found out, though, and got a search warrant for her home.

In 2019, Alabama’s new law led to the wrongful arrest of a non-English speaking delivery driver who was pulled over by law enforcement in Mississippi, where kratom remains legal, and probed about what was in his van. When he volunteered that he was transporting kratom, the officers sent him along.

Once he was allowed to continue on his way, the same Mississippi officers tipped Baldwin County cops off to the driver’s route, which led the county’s deputy to bust him for drug trafficking. Under the current law, kratom alkaloids are classified as Schedule I controlled substances.

History of the Fight for Kratom Rights in Alabama

Kratom advocates haven’t let the ban stop them from fighting for their rights. A petition launched before the vote on SB226 collected almost 800 signatures. In 2017, close to 1,000 people signed a petition asking for the repeal of SB226.

As of July 2019, there’s no current pending legislation seeking a repeal. The American Kratom Association does continue to lobby state lawmakers in order to introduce a repeal bill as soon as possible, though. The advocacy group also released an Advocacy Toolkit for kratom supporters who wish to contact their local representatives.

Organizations like the AKA have been exhausting all resources in their efforts to change public opinion about the herb and its alkaloids. Representatives for the nonprofit advocacy group even share copious amounts of scientific data with politicians, in the vain hope that they will reconsider their positions.

So far, these efforts have met with little interest from state lawmakers. On the other hand, public outcry has made an enormous difference in the past. For example, the DEA put a pin in its plans to ban kratom at a federal level after receiving an overwhelming number of comments from the general public.

What Can You Do About Kratom?

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We join the American Kratom Association in urging Alabama residents to reach out to local lawmakers. Advocacy efforts have saved kratom in the past, including the DEA dropping its proposed nationwide ban after a widespread campaign of phone calls, letters, and petitions.

If you are one of countless Alabama residents who cross the border into Georgia to buy kratom legally, it is imperative that you observe state and local laws. Under no circumstances should you return to the state of Alabama with kratom on your person. Kratom should only be enjoyed where it is lawful to do so.

The Mitragyna speciosa herb is currently legal in all states surrounding Alabama, including Mississippi and Tennessee. However, both states require kratom to be properly labeled and Tennessee strictly prohibits the sale of synthetic or enhanced kratom products.

If you are thinking about taking a break from the pressures of life in the Land of peanuts and tornadoes, you may want to post up in Atlanta, GA, or Memphis, TN. Both cities are meccas for kratom connoisseurs. There are plenty of places to buy kratom locally.

Hundreds of smoke shops, head shops, and kratom bars call the ATL home. The same is true of Memphis, where you’ll find novelty shops, vape stores, herbal apothecaries, and tobacco shops carrying kratom powders, kratom capsules, and more. There’s even the Noble Kava Tea Bar over in Knoxville, TN.

If you plan your trip out right, you may even be able to attend a kratom march. You can visit the AKA to see if any upcoming events are planned in your area. This may include advocacy events, expos, or something else entirely. You can check the AKA in Your State page at https://www.americankratom.org.

When purchasing kratom, especially from an out-of-town headshop, be sure to shop for reputable brands. All too often, smoke shop proprietors purchase substandard products from third-party wholesale distributors. These kratom products do not come with any satisfaction guarantee or proof of purity.

Consequently, customers end up buying stale kratom or worse. Some headshop kratom brands may be contaminated from poor manufacturing conditions or adulterated with synthetic additives. For the best results, stick to widely-regarded brands with AKA approval.

The AKA’s GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Standards Program has made it possible for shoppers to find trustworthy kratom vendors without any process of elimination. GMP participants submit their kratom to a third-party audit, which tests for purity and potency. They also offer detailed labeling.

Here are some solid examples of GMP-certified kratom brands you can trust:

Bottom Line

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It is important to continue to seek a repeal for kratom in states where it has been banned. More importantly, kratom enthusiasts everywhere need to continue to let their opinions be known. If you see a petition, don’t just sign it. Leave a note for the lawmakers it is addressed to. Let them know how you feel.

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