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Is Kratom Legal in South Carolina? Exploring the Current Status, Regulations, and the Approaching Ban in South Carolina

As of 2023, kratom is legal in South Carolina. Some states have scattered towns that ban kratom, but not in Palmetto State. Here, there is no proper legislation that limits kratom users or vendors.

There is also no solid law for minimum age restrictions. But most vendors won’t sell or distribute to buyers unless they’re at least 18.

However, this may all change if the pending legislation passes. Under South Carolina House Bill 3742, kratom will get classified as a Schedule IV drug.

History of Kratom Legislation in South Carolina

The government has left kratom unregulated at a federal level for so long, though the FDA did have its eyes on kratom for some time now. They just can’t seem to crack the whip to make it federally regulated.


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After the failed attempt to ban kratom in 2016, it was up to each state to make the call on whether they’d want to ban it. And while some have put restrictions like the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, South Carolina seems to be rather chill about it.

In fact, there haven’t been any official records of South Carolina wanting to ban kratom or specific laws to regulate it. For the past years, South Carolina didn’t question kratom legality in the state.

The only time that kratom made news in South Carolina was in 2018. It was when the local company’s properties got confiscated. There, they found and took a huge amount of the herb. But after that, nothing else happened in relation to kratom.

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Is Kratom Legal in South Carolina Forever?

Kratom has been legal in South Carolina for as long as local kratom users can remember. In fact, it’s been totally unregulated for some time. This means:

  • There are no rules or benchmarks for kratom products.
  • There are no strict age restrictions.
  • There is no lab testing for the strength or potency of the kratom products.

In fact, even if you do a quick internet search on “Is kratom legal in South Carolina?” the results will still say “Yes.”

However, this may not be the case for the foreseeable future.

Just early this year, legislators introduced the South Carolina House Bill 3742. The goal? To classify kratom with Schedule IV substances.

What Is South Carolina House Bill 3742 and How Will It Affect Kratom’s Legal Status?

It was early January this year that state legislators planned to amend the list of Schedule IV substances. As described in House Bill 3742, kratom will be categorized with other Schedule IV drugs.

Drug Schedules

The DEA established “Schedules” to properly categorize certain drugs. This tiered classification determines how each is an addictive drug or has the potential to be one. Here are the schedules and the drugs that belong to each, according to the DEA website:

  • Schedule I – Schedule I drugs are those that currently have zero medical use. These are also drugs that are highly addictive, like heroin.
  • Schedule II – Substances classified under Schedule II still have a high possibility for abuse. They can also cause severe physical dependence.
  • Schedule III – Schedule III drugs still have the potential for abuse and cause severe physical dependence, but not as much as Schedule II. Under this category are steroids.
  • Schedule IV – Schedule IV drugs pertain to those with a low potential for abuse and dependence. One substance under this is Xanax. This is where kratom will belong once the bill passes.
  • Schedule V – Under Schedule V are drugs that have a lower potential for abuse compared to Schedule IV. These are substances with a minimal amount of narcotics in them. The most common uses for these are antitussive, antidiarrheal, and discomfort relief purposes.

As of this writing, the bill is 25% in progress. If it passes and becomes an act, kratom will no longer be legal in South Carolina.

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Is Kratom Legal in South Carolina? What Happens to the Kratom Industry After the Ban

Once kratom becomes a Schedule IV drug, it’s no longer available for sale or use. Purchasing kratom will also be illegal and could come with some heavy fines or jail time if caught.

Here are the sanctions in connection to Schedule IV drugs under the 2013 South Carolina Code of Laws:

  • If a person gets caught with a Schedule IV drug, they will receive either jail time of no more than three years or get a fine of no more than $3,000. Though they could receive both as punishment. They will also be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first offense.
  • If there are subsequent offenses, the violator will receive a felony charge. Once convicted, they will receive jail time of no more than five years or get a fine of no more than $6,000. Of course, they could still receive both.

Local Kratom Users React to Banning Kratom

It could just be months away before the answer to the query, “Is kratom legal in South Carolina?” goes from a “yes” to a “no.” And local kratom consumers are not liking it.

Local kratom users were commenting on the Legiscan website on banning kratom. They share their stories and inputs on possible compromises to keep kratom legal.

One user suggested that South Carolina adopts the Kratom Consumer Protection Act instead. The American Kratom Association has also caught wind of the news. They’re keeping their social media pages updated on the supposed ban in South Carolina.

Planning to Purchase Kratom: Physical Store Vs. Online Vendors

Kratom is still technically legal in South Carolina. So if you want to get a dose of it before the kratom legality changes, now is the time.

Buying Kratom From Local Shops

There are many ways you can purchase kratom products in the Palmetto State. If you already live in the area, word of mouth is a great way to source the highest quality products.

But if you’re a tourist and want to indulge in kratom, you can visit plenty of local shops in South Carolina’s major cities. Since kratom is still unregulated and legal in South Carolina, here are a few reminders and tips when finding a local retailer:

  • Do your research before going to local retailers. Do a simple Google search to look at the closest smoke shops in your area that carry kratom. Read the reviews and compare to avoid wasting time.
  • Avoid purchasing kratom from shady-looking shops. There is no law regulating the production of kratom. So some products, especially kratom powder, could include other substances to boost potency. Avoid buying unmarked packs of kratom from local retailers, as these may not be suitable for human consumption.
  • If you’re new to the product, do not immediately take high dosages. It’s best to apply the recommended dosage: start from smaller doses, then gradually add more if you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people in the smoke shops.

Some pros of buying kratom from local shops are:

  • You get the item immediately. You can use it as soon as you pay for it.
  • You can choose and see the items for sale.

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Buying Kratom Online

You can also order your kratom supplies online. Here are a few reminders and tips for when you do:

  • Find a reputable online vendor. It’s easy to scam people electronically these days with how easy it is to make a website. Do some research about reputable online vendors before placing your order.
  • Check if reviews are real. Some websites may look legit, but take your time to read some reviews. Legit reviews are usually a mix of negative and positive comments. While fake reviews are usually all positive and sound too salesy.

Though online orders may take some time to arrive to you, they also come with some benefits:

  • Buying kratom online provides you with tons of options. Online vendors tend to carry the stocks, so they have more options and variety.
  • Online shops offer discounts. Online vendors don’t have to rent actual shops to get close to customers. For this reason, they’re more likely to have sales and discounts.
  • Online vendors that sell kratom don’t know who you are. If you want a private and discreet kratom experience, online shops are a great way to get your kratom.

The future of kratom legality in South Carolina remains uncertain. According to the AKA’s latest Facebook post last February, there are still no scheduled meetings or hearings for the ban. The AKA looks forward to locals’ support to try and reverse the ban attempt in South Carolina.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is kratom?

Mitragyna Speciosa or kratom is a tree that naturally grows in countries of Southeast Asia. This tree produces leaves with the chemical mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine which are believed to produce it primary effects.

How do I get the effects of kratom?

You can get the effects of kratom by taking it orally. These days, you can buy kratom in various forms depending on what suits you. You can take it in pill form, in shots, in tea, and in powder form that you can easily add it to recipes.

How Much Kratom Do I Need to Take to Get the Effects?

The amount of kratom will depend solely on the user. If you’re not accustomed to taking it, start slow and slowly increase your dosage until you get your desired effect.

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