Florida Senate considers kratom reform

Photo Credit: KingdomKratom.com

In a move to regulate the sale and consumption of kratom products in Florida, state Senator Keith Perry, a Republican from Ocala, has introduced Senate Bill 842, also known as the Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act.

The bill aims to establish guidelines for processors and enhance consumer protection in the kratom industry.

One significant aspect of the bill is the implementation of an age restriction on kratom products in Florida, aligning them with regulations governing alcohol, cigarettes, and lottery tickets.

Sales of kratom are now prohibited to individuals under 21, a measure designed to address concerns surrounding the substance’s potential impact on younger consumers.

Kratom, a consumable relative of the coffee plant native to Southeast Asia, is available in various forms, including extracts, powder-filled capsules, and brewed tea. While not categorized as a controlled substance, the Drug Enforcement Administration lists kratom as a drug and chemical of concern, emphasizing the need for regulatory measures.

Billy Lister, manager of Kameleon Kava Bar in the Railroad Square Art District, shared insights into the impact of the legislation on their operations.

“We just switched to being 18 and up at all hours, as well as 21 and up past 8 p.m.,” Lister said.

He highlighted the importance of consistent brews and cautioned against using extracts, noting their lack of FDA approval.

Josh Day, a frequent kratom consumer, emphasized the similarities between kratom and kava, categorizing kratom as an opiate.

Day cautions against excessive consumption and urges others to recognize their potential susceptibility to addiction.

“I was drinking 15–18 grams a day, and that is not a very good place to be,” Day said. “Just be careful.”

SB 842 introduces a range of regulations, including the requirement for potency labels, dosage information, and a prohibition on product labels claiming kratom’s ability to treat, cure, or prevent medical conditions. Violations of these provisions could result in civil penalties, with fines increasing for repeated offenses. The bill is poised to enhance consumer protection and transparency within the kratom industry.

The Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act, represented by SB 842, reflects the state’s commitment to addressing the regulatory landscape surrounding kratom. As the bill advances through the legislative process, it aims to strike a balance between protecting consumers, providing clear guidelines for processors, and fostering a responsible environment for the sale and consumption of kratom products.

SB 842 cleared its first hurdle — the Commerce and Tourism Committee — last week by a 5-0 vote.