- Sen. Joe Gruters filed a bill on Monday that would raise the minimum age to purchase kratom in Florida from 18 to 21
- The bill also places regulatory measures on the sale and production of the drug, including packaging requirements and adherence to chemical composition guidelines
- In 2014, Sarasota County, the region that Gruters represents, banned the substance, making it illegal to possess
- The Florida legislature passed a bill in 2018 that placed certain restrictions on the sale and possession of kratom by individuals under 18
A bill filed on Monday by Sen. Joe Gruters seeks to raise the minimum age to be able to purchase kratom in Florida from 18 to 21, as well as place a series of regulatory measures on the production and sale of the drug.
The piece of legislation, known as the “Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act,” would require directions for the safe use of any product containing kratom, including, but not limited to, a suggested serving size, on the product’s packaging or label.
The proposal also prohibits cutting sold kratom with any non-kratom substance that affects the quality or strength of the product to such a degree that it may injure a consumer.
Further, Gruters’ filing outlines specifications for the chemical composition of kratom products.
Kratom is a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia, with leaves that contain compounds that can have psychotropic (mind-altering) effects. Kratom is not currently an illegal substance and is not controlled by the Controlled Substances Act in the United States.
In Florida, kratom is legal to use and possess. The state does not regulate the use of kratom, which allows it to be sold in stores and online without any restrictions. According to the Botanical Education Alliance, the kratom industry is worth $1.13 billion nationwide.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about the safety of kratom, and some states have banned or regulated its sale.
The FDA has also linked kratom to a number of deaths, and there are concerns about its potential for abuse and addiction.
In 2014, Sarasota County, the region that Gruters represents, banned the substance, making it illegal to possess. In 2017, a bill was introduced in the Florida legislature to add kratom to the list of controlled substances, but it died in the legislative process.
The Florida legislature also passed a bill in 2018 that placed certain restrictions on the sale and possession of kratom by individuals under 18, also establishing a task force to study the effects of kratom and make recommendations for potential regulatory measures.
This past June, the statewide drug policy council discussed possibly recommending a statewide ban on the substance to the Governor and Legislature.
The Capitolist attempted to reach the Office of Sen. Gruters for further inquiry into the proposed bill and will update this article accordingly when given a response.