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Is Kratom Legal in Tennessee? Its History and Current Status

Kratom is legal in Tennessee according to the state’s current kratom laws. However, consumers and vendors have to abide by a few restrictions.

Kratom legality in the state has been confusing for locals for the past few years. Since 2014, there have been multiple bills submitted hoping to restrict or control kratom to some degree. This January 2023, lawmakers filed the newest one called the “Tennessee Kratom Consumer Protection Act.”

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Kratom Legality in Tennessee in 2023

The answer to “Is kratom legal in Tennessee in 2023?” is a “yes,” but the state has conditions that everyone must meet. If locals want to use, sell, or distribute the substance in the state, they must do so under the current kratom laws:

 

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  • Age restriction: It is illegal to sell or give kratom products to individuals under 21 years.
  • All-natural kratom products: Only natural botanical forms of kratom should be available for sale. This means you can’t buy, use, or distribute synthetic kratom. Only 100% Mitragyna speciosa products are legal within the state of Tennessee.
  • Labels on all kratom products: All kratom products for sale should have a label with the following details:
    • Pregnant and nursing women should not take kratom.
    • Consumers should not take kratom with alcohol and other medications.
    • Those with medical conditions like liver disorder, high blood pressure, heart disease, or other health problems should avoid taking kratom.

According to current legislation, violators of the said restrictions will be charged with Class A demeanor. In Tennessee, this will result in the following consequences:

  • Maximum jail time up to 11 months and 29 days
  • A fine of up to $2,500

The History of Kratom Legislation in Tennessee

In 2016, the federal government almost banned kratom with the efforts of the FDA and DEA. But thanks to the advocates and protesters, the government has kept kratom legal in the U.S. Instead, each state can decide whether or not to ban the substance in their community.

The discussion on Tennessee’s kratom laws started in 2014 when they prohibited the sale of synthetic substances. Unfortunately, this list included synthetic forms of kratom.

Around 2017 and 2018, the Tennessee Senate was gearing up for another bill regarding a list of controlled substances, of which kratom was a part. Thankfully, this bill didn’t pass.

After that came the current legislation on the age limit of kratom users and labeling guidelines.

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The Tennessee Kratom Consumer Protection Act

The Kratom Consumer Protection Act is a piece of legislation that the American Kratom Association hopes every state will adopt. Lawmakers can amend the legislation however they see fit for the state. But the goal is the same: to make kratom safe for everyone.

Other states like Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon have already implemented the KCPA. If the latest bill passes, Tennessee will adopt the KCPA at the start of July 2023.

According to the bill summary, here is what locals can expect from the new Tennessee kratom laws:

Section (b) states that:

  • Kratom manufacturers, processors, distributors, vendors, and retailers will not sell or distribute any of the following:
    • Products labeled as kratom but have traces of other dangerous substances.
    • Adulterated kratom products or those laced with controlled substances alter their effectiveness.
    • Products mixed with poisonous substances.
  • Kratom products should have their ingredients listed on the label.
  • Products should not contain higher residual solvents than that allowed by the United States Pharmacopeia Chapter 467.
  • Products should not contain synthetic versions of mitragynine and 7-hydroxy mitragynine. The alkaloids should be in their natural form, derived from the actual plant.
  • Products should include directions for safe use. Labels should include the manufacturer’s physical address and recommended serving size.

Section I of the bill states that the following is also against the law:

  • Selling, distributing, or offering kratom to someone below 21 years old.
  • Purchasing or possession of kratom products if under 21 years of age.
  • Preparing, manufacturing, or selling a kratom product when you aren’t a registered retailer or processor.

Violators may receive the following repercussions depending on which laws they violate:

  • If the violator breaks the laws under subsection (b), they could face either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.
  • If the violator commits those under subsection(c), they will face a Class A misdemeanor.

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Where to Buy Kratom in Tennessee?

The kratom industry has been booming in the U.S. for the last couple of years, at least in states where it’s legal. In Tennessee, you can purchase kratom legally from your local vape or smoke shops.

However, because of the current laws, you can only get them in pure form. Consumers mostly buy kratom powder, but you can also get them in capsules. Pure kratom extracts are also available.

If you aren’t able to buy kratom from physical stores, online shops are also a good idea. In fact, online shopping sometimes offers more perks than buying your supply from a physical store.

  • Discounts and lower prices: Online stores don’t rent physical establishments. So most online shops don’t need to markup their prices to make up for these costs.
  • A wide selection of products: Online stores tend to have a wider variety of options because they sell straight from the warehouse. This lets consumers pick from a plethora of kratom strains and types available.
  • Convenience: If you don’t live close to smoke shops, buying kratom can be a hassle. Online shops are a great way to get your supply without having to leave your home.

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Is Kratom Legal in Tennessee Forever?

As of now, there are no signs that the state will ban kratom anytime soon. Still, one cannot give a definitive answer to the question, “Is kratom legal in Tennessee forever?”

In the event of a potential kratom ban in Tennessee, the American Kratom Association encourages the local kratom community to report it via their website.

Amidst the complexity of kratom laws in the past years, many Tennessee residents are just happy that the herb is still legal. Hopefully, with continued education and advocacy, kratom can stay legal in Tennessee forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is kratom?

Kratom comes from a plant that naturally grows in Southeast Asia. This coffee-related herb contains alkaloids with relaxing or energy-boosting effects, depending on the strain.

How much kratom should I take to get the effects?

Effects will vary depending on the person’s metabolism and tolerance. However, it’s advisable for new users to start with the recommended 2 mg dose.

Is kratom safe?

Many communities in Southeast Asia have been using kratom for hundreds of years. There hasn’t been a record of anyone dying due to kratom consumption. Current research and studies also show that kratom is not inherently dangerous to human health.

While there have been cases of overdose in the U.S. that implicate kratom, they usually involve other controlled substances.

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