Is Kratom Legal in Rhode Island in 2023?


14 Jul, 20220

Is Kratom Legal in Rhode Island in 2023?

Even though Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation, it has the most coastline relative to its small size. It has been nicknamed the “Ocean State” for its more than 400 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline. Despite the state’s beauty, one negative aspect of Rhode Island is that in 2017, Kratom became illegal. This article will explore how that came to be.

History of Kratom in Rhode Island

In early 2017, Rhode Island’s Department of Health classified the two primary alkaloids in Kratom, mitragynine and 6-hydroxymitragynine, as Schedule 1 Controlled Substances. Under Rhode Island’s Controlled Substances Act, the Department of Health acted quickly without much notice or hearings after learning of several deaths from what later turned out to be adulterated Kratom. As a result, Rhode Island became the sixth state to ban Kratom, joining Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

In 2019, House Bill 5542 would have made Kratom legal by creating the Kratom Consumer Protection Act. The bill would have made Kratom legal for those over 18. It also called for strict regulations on what vendors can sell as Kratom. The bill, strongly supported by the American Kratom Association, died in committee.

Classification of Kratom in Rhode Island

The classification of Kratom’s primary alkaloids as Schedule 1 substances imposes stiff penalties. In addition, the state ruling goes against federal agencies who reversed a similar decision and chose not to include Kratom as a Schedule 1 drug.

Purchasing and shipping Kratom in Rhode Island

Due to the current laws in Rhode Island, it is illegal to purchase, possess and distribute Kratom. Also, the law restricts Rhode Island residents from buying it online. So while you might be able to place the order in your virtual shopping cart, the vendor will refuse your order when prompted to pay.

Advocacy by the American Kratom Association

The advocacy organization, the American Kratom Association (AKA), has been hard at work since 2014 to make Kratom legal in all 50 states. While HB5542 did not pass, a similar bill was introduced the following year. HB 5909 would also have legalized and regulated Kratom. In addition, it would have controlled the distribution of food products containing Kratom. Unfortunately, that bill also died in committee.

The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KPCA), promoted by the AKA, encourages advocacy for the nationwide legalization and regulation of Kratom. The Act also calls for more research. For more information on how to help make Kratom legal, go to this page on the AKA website. To see if Kratom is currently legal in your state, please check out this interactive Kratom legality map.


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