Kratom occupies an unusual space in terms of legality in Alaska. While it has not been specifically banned or prohibited, certain actions regarding kratom have been regulated under state law. So is kratom actually legal to buy, sell, and use in Alaska? Let’s take a closer look at the current legal status.
No Outright Ban
Unlike some states, Alaska has not yet placed an outright ban on kratom statewide. There is no law that explicitly states that kratom is illegal to possess, consume, or distribute. As of December 2023, general kratom usage remains in legal limbo in Alaska.
This means that buying, selling, using and possessing kratom is not officially prohibited as a concept. However, there are some exceptions regarding specific kratom products, which will be covered shortly.
Synthetic Kratom & Minors
In 2016, Alaska passed Senate Bill 30, which placed two major restrictions regarding kratom:
- Synthetic kratom was explicitly banned
- Kratom could not be sold or distributed to minors
Synthetic kratom refers to artificially produced substances designed to mimic the properties of natural kratom extracts. Often touted as enhanced or concentrated forms of kratom, synthetic kratom attempts to boost the plant’s main active ingredients.
Senate Bill 30 prohibits the production and distribution of state-designated synthetic kratom substitutes, placing them in the Schedule IIA controlled substance list. This ban mainly targets chemically altered variations rather than the unprocessed plant itself.
In the same vein, the bill forbid the sale or distribution of any commercial kratom products to individuals under 18 years of age. Selling kratom to minors this can result in criminal charges.
Additional County and Municipality Bans
Apart from the state law, several jurisdictions in Alaska have enacted more stringent kratom regulations:
- Ketchikan Gateway Borough: Kratom usage and possession banned in commercial form. Does not apply to raw plant material.
- Palmer: Sale of kratom banned within city limits. Possession and use remains legal.
- Wasilla: All distribution and buying/selling of kratom prohibited. Simply possessing kratom extract is still allowed.
So while these boroughs and cities ban certain actions related to commercial kratom, they do not completely prohibit people from having or consuming general kratom powder/tea. But the specific rules can vary in severity across different areas.
No Approved or Sanctioned Kratom Uses
A core issue complicating kratom’s legality is that the substance currently has no officially approved uses in Alaska. This means:
- Kratom cannot be labeled, marketed or advertised to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Doing so violates state and federal law.
- Kratom products have no regulated manufacturing standards in Alaska. There are no “approved” strains, dosages, or formulations.
- Consumption of kratom to self-treat health issues may be legally ambiguous. The lack of laws approving kratom as medicine muddies consumer protections.
Therefore, any kratom sold as a dietary supplement or herbal remedy has no legally recognized medicinal status in Alaska. Redistributions cannot make medical claims involving kratom. From a legal standpoint, kratom is not considered an approved therapeutic substance.
This contributes to the legal gray area status of general kratom usage. While not outright banned, Alaska provides no legal avenues for vendors to claim health benefits or standardized production of kratom meant for ingestion. The lack of clear regulations leaves consumers in murky territory regarding risks and legal protections.
The Future: Possible Tighter Restrictions
As more jurisdictions in Alaska explore stricter kratom rules, there is the possibility that the state may introduce new legislation increasing overall regulation or prohibitive control. Smaller locality bans could possibly influence sweeping statewide action in the coming years.
However, kratom advocates argue that further restrictions are unwarranted and problematic. Groups like the American Kratom Association actively lobby to protect public access and research into the herb’s properties. But it remains to be seen whether their efforts will be enough to prevent harsher future kratom laws in Alaska.
For now, while not completely banned, Alaska’s complicated legal situation provides little statutory guidance or reassurance for buyers, sellers or users of kratom products. Aside from explicit restrictions on distribution to minors, the vast majority of kratom usage exists in a cloudy area with the potential for increased regulatory crackdowns. Anyone manufacturing, purchasing, or ingesting general kratom powder does so without definitive legal approval.