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Is Kratom Legal in California?

Despite being federally legal, kratom is banned in several states across the U.S. And even in the states where it’s legal, some cities and municipalities have stringent control measures and even all-out bans. Such is the case of kratom in California.

Kratom is legal there, but there’s a catch: You can’t use, possess, or distribute kratom products in certain areas around the state. Therefore, you need to stay updated with kratom laws in California to stay out of trouble. Here’s everything you need to know about kratom’s legality in California:

Is Kratom Legal in California?

California has one of the most controversial stances on kratom’s legality. Kratom is legal at the state level, but two cities have criminalized the herb. As such, kratom is legal in California except for the cities of San Diego and Oceanside.

The San Diego kratom ban all started in 2016 when the city council issued an ordinance classifying kratom as a Schedule 1 drug along with synthetic drugs and bath salts. This is despite the fact that kratom is a natural substance, thus pointing out the prevalent misconceptions about kratom in the city.


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Not long before that, the San Diego county board of supervisors had nearly declared kratom a “public nuisance.” The 2020 county board meeting ended in a 4-1 vote, in which only a single member, Kristin Gaspar, voted against the proposal.

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During the meeting, Kristin Gaspar argued the hypocrisy of the proposed ban citing insufficient evidence on the dangers of kratom. She also pointed out that there had been no kratom-related death in the city’s history.

Similarly, kratom is illegal in Oceanside, in accordance with Article VII of the Oceanside City Code of Ordinance. The ban prohibits purchasing, selling, and possessing kratom and kratom products within the city’s borders.

Oceanside takes a similar stance on kratom as San Diego, which classifies kratom as a synthetic drug. Any vendor found in violation of the law risks losing their business license. Likewise, individuals found in possession of kratom could face a misdemeanor charge, which will result in a $500 fine.

Is There Any Hope for Kratom Legalization in All Parts of California?

Besides San Diego and Oceanside, all other cities within the state seem to be okay with kratom. The American Kratom Association (AKA) has put in a lot of work trying to lobby states like California to enact a set of regulations and standards around kratom instead of criminalizing it altogether.

To this effect, the AKA has developed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). The KCPA is a set of legal measures that seek to protect consumers from low-quality and contaminated kratom products. Unfortunately, California has yet to put the Kratom Consumer Protection Act into law.

This means that the possibility of buying low-quality kratom products in the legal cities of California is still pretty high.

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Where to Buy Kratom in California

As a mostly legal state, getting kratom in California is pretty easy. There are numerous specialized kratom stores in the state. Some gas station convenience stores and smoke shops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and others also carry kratom products.

On the flip side, buying kratom from some of these establishments might leave you disappointed. The lack of regulations makes it very easy for businesses to sell low-quality and even contaminated kratom products.

Most avid kratom users in the state opt for online vendors who provide lab test results along with all their products. This gives kratom users peace of mind in regard to the quality of the products they purchase.

Why You Should Buy Kratom Online

Now, you have more answers to the question, “Is kratom legal in California?” As you start making your purchase, you may have found that buying kratom from physical stores is easy. They’re everywhere, and some of them offer pretty sweet deals. Unfortunately, there are a few quality concerns with buying kratom from physical stores, most of which are addressed by online vendors. Here are a few reasons why you should buy kratom from online vendors in California:

1. Convenience

It doesn’t get more convenient than ordering from the comfort of your home. Without even leaving your seat, you can browse the product categories of numerous vendors and choose your best pick.

2. Competitive Pricing

Online kratom vendors offer some of the most competitive prices out there. Most vendors offer discounts on some products. They also offer other incentives like affiliate marketing and referral discounts. And since you’re not limited to a single vendor, you can visit several online stores and choose the one with the best deals.

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3. Discreet Shopping

Despite being a popular botanical, there’s still a lot of stigma around kratom. Online vendors offer an effective solution by providing a discreet shopping alternative. Most vendors pack their products in inconspicuous packages that don’t reveal the contents of the package.

4. Reviews and feedback

One of the biggest benefits of buying kratom online is that you get to read other shoppers’ experiences with the vendor. Most online kratom vendors post reviews and feedback on their websites. You can also get reviews from Yelp and other customer review platforms. You can freely browse customers’ experiences with different products like kratom tea, kratom powder, and kratom capsules. By reading reviews from actual users, you are better able to verify the quality of their products without having to try them out yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you bypass the kratom ban in San Diego and Oceanside?

Well, legally, you can’t. Kratom is banned in all areas within the city’s boundaries. Some people try to bypass this ban by ordering kratom from cities near San Diego and Oceanside. Unfortunately, most vendors don’t want to risk losing their business licenses or incurring hefty fines. Additionally, any vendor willing to risk their business for a little extra profit might also be cutting corners with quality for the same reasons.

Are there any age restrictions for buying kratom in California?

California has no legal statewide age restrictions for buying kratom products. However, this might change if states adopt a framework that will regulate kratom, like in Arizona and Nevada.

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Can I travel with kratom in California?

Yes. You can travel with kratom in California. However, when doing so, note the kratom legality in San Diego and Oceanside.

Where can I find more information about kratom in California?

You can learn more about kratom’s legality in California by visiting the state’s legislature website or contacting your local government officials. There are also several advocacy groups that provide information and support for kratom users, including the American Kratom Association and the Kratom Information & Resource Center.

The Bottom Line

When traveling in the state, kratom enthusiasts may wonder, “Is kratom legal in California?” The answer can be quite confusing. On the one hand, it’s legal and unregulated by the state. But on the other hand, some cities within the state have banned kratom. Therefore, if you plan on using kratom in California, make sure to keep it out of the city boundaries of San Diego and Oceanside. While you’re at it, buy kratom online. It’s cheaper, more convenient, and offers the highest possibility of buying high-quality products.

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