Florida Kratom Senate Bill 1071 and 1076 Dead in 2022
A Florida Kratom Senate bill adding regulations to the sale of kratom, a plant grown in Southeast Asia that the FDA says has addictive effects similar to morphine and other opiates, has likely died after failing to receive a hearing in its final committee stop.
Sarasota Republican Sen. Joe Gruters filed (SB 1076) on 11/30/21, the bill dubbed the “Kratom Consumer Protection Act,” died in Appropriations on 03/14/22.
A similar bill in the House (HB 1071), “Kratom Products,” filed on 12/29/21 by Pensacola Republican Rep. Alex Andrade, died in Regulatory Reform Subcommittee on 03/14/22.
The goals of SB 1076 is to apply to kratom products restrictions similar to those placed on alcohol, such as banning the sales of kratom products to people under 21 and required processors to ensure quality control standards.
Further, the Florida Kratom Senate bill would ban sellers from labeling products made with kratom as being meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition or disease, also it would limit the allowable percentage of kratom’s psychoactive compound, 7-hydroxymitragynine, and ban the sale of extracts containing levels of residual solvents exceeding than standards set forth by the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary.
For the better part of the last decade, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has targeted kratom as a potentially dangerous drug. In 2019, the agency issued warnings to companies selling kratom for marketing their products as being able to treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal.
That same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that kratom caused 91 overdose deaths in 27 states over an 18-month period. While most who died had also taken heroin, fentanyl and other drugs, kratom was the only substance detected in seven of the deaths.
Kratom is fully illegal in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. It’s also banned in Sarasota County, which outlawed all kratom products there in 2014.
Last week, the Missouri House passed a bill, also titled the “Kratom Consumer Protection Act,” by state Republican Rep. Phil Christofanelli. The bill successfully moved through the chamber last year too, but it died in the Senate.
Legislation targeting kratom in Florida has seen little success.
In 2015, the late Sen. Greg Evers and the late Rep. Kristen Jacobs backed bills that would have added kratom to the state’s list of Schedule I drugs, effectively banning the substance outright.
Jacobs reintroduced a tamer version of her Florida Kratom Senate bill two years later with support from Democratic Sen. Darryl Rouson shortly after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issued an emergency ban on kratom. The agency later repealed the ban due to popular backlash. Both bills ultimately died after the American Kratom Association hired lobbyists from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney to advocate for the substance in Tallahassee.
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