Kratom has become increasingly popular in recent years, but its legality remains a gray area in many parts of the U.S.
In 2020 alone, kratom usage increased by over 1.5 million new users in America. This has left many wondering – is kratom legal in my state?
Colorado is one state where the laws surrounding kratom have caused confusion. So what exactly is the legal status of kratom in Colorado at present? Are there any restrictions on its sale or usage?
This article will clarify the current kratom laws in Colorado. We’ll explain what is and isn’t allowed, along with the reasoning behind the regulations.
The Legality of Kratom in Colorado
Kratom is currently legal to possess, use, and sell in Colorado. There are no laws prohibiting the sale, possession or use of the substance within the state.
However, in 2021 there were attempts to ban kratom in Colorado. A bill was proposed by Senator Danielson to prohibit the sale of kratom to minors.
This bill did not pass, leaving kratom in a legal gray area for Coloradans under the age of 18. While suppliers cannot sell kratom to those under 18, possession itself is not an offense.
So in summary:
Kratom is legal in Colorado for those over 18
No prescription is necessary to purchase or possess kratom
There are no penalties for kratom possession or usage
Sales to those under 18 are prohibited
Now let’s look at some of the reasoning behind the current laws.
Why is Kratom Legal in Colorado?
When the 2021 kratom ban bill failed, the main arguments against the proposed restrictions were:
Kratom is safer than many prescription pain medications. Limiting access could lead those in chronic pain back to opioid abuse.
There is insufficient evidence kratom is harmful enough to necessitate a ban. More research is needed.
Kratom offers therapeutic benefits and helps many manage conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Essentially, lawmakers did not feel there was enough justification or evidence to warrant a kratom ban in Colorado. They ruled that adults should have the freedom to make their own choices regarding kratom usage.
The pushback from kratom advocates and suppliers was also instrumental here. They presented evidence of kratom’s benefits and strongly opposed the attempted 2021 restrictions.
Are There Any Municipal Bans on Kratom in Colorado?
Within Colorado, individual municipalities and counties cannot ban or regulate kratom at a local level. State law overrides any attempts to prohibit kratom locally.
For example, in 2019 the city of Denver considered a city-wide prohibition on kratom. However, lawyers for the city concluded such a ban would violate the state’s authority.
So even if your county or city has proposed restrictions, these cannot be enforced due to state preemption. Kratom remains fully legal across Colorado.
Buying Kratom in Colorado
With kratom legal and unregulated, purchasing quality kratom is still important. Substandard kratom products may be contaminated or contain fillers.
You can find kratom in smoke shops, head shops, and specialty stores across Colorado. However, here are some tips for getting pure, high-quality kratom:
Buy directly from reputable online vendors. Many ensure quality and purity through lab testing.
Check for contamination tests. Any vendor should provide recent lab certificates verifying their kratom is free of pathogens, metals, fillers, etc.
Look for 3rd party testing. Independent labs like ISO 17025 can confirm the purity and potency of kratom batches.
Consider organic kratom. Organic growers avoid synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that could taint kratom leaves.
Research vendors online. Check if a kratom company has a history of good business practices, as this suggests they sell high purity products.
As with any supplement, it pays to find a trustworthy supplier selling contaminant-free, natural kratom. But when sourced from ethical vendors, consumers can feel confident using kratom in Colorado.
Is Kratom Regulated in Colorado?
There are currently no special state regulations or guidelines governing kratom in Colorado. Kratom is legal for those over 18, but with no further restrictions.
Some advocates have called for basic regulations to ensure product quality and safety. However, many kratom users in Colorado oppose too much state intervention for fear it could lead to an outright ban.
On a federal level, the FDA has raised concerns about kratom and tracks adverse health reports. But as of 2023, the FDA has not moved to prohibit kratom or introduce special regulations. They state more research is needed to evaluate kratom’s risks.
So in Colorado and across most U.S. states, buying, selling, possessing, and using kratom remains legal and unregulated. The FDA does not currently restrict access, nor does Colorado’s state government.
However, some feel that basic state guidelines could help uphold purity and safety standards within the kratom industry. The debate between regulation versus kratom liberty continues in many states, including Colorado.
The Future of Kratom Laws in Colorado
Despite the failed 2021 attempt to ban sales to minors, kratom laws are unlikely to change in the near future. With no statewide prohibitions, Colorado remains a kratom-friendly state.
Yet, as a substance still technically in regulatory limbo on a federal level, the legal status of kratom could evolve. However, most experts believe an outright ban is improbable due to:
Insufficient evidence of harm or addictive potential to justify a ban.
No recorded deaths directly caused by kratom overdose or toxicity.
Continued advocacy and lobbying by pro-kratom groups.
Public opposition to prohibiting a potentially beneficial natural substance.
Barring federal action from the DEA or FDA, Colorado seems set to allow open kratom usage for the foreseeable future. Kratom supporters will continue campaigning to demonstrate kratom’s therapeutic potential.
So in conclusion, while new restrictions could arise, kratom remains legal within Colorado. Purchasing, selling and using kratom is allowed for anyone over 18.
There are also no signs Colorado lawmakers intend to revisit kratom legislation in the near future. The failed 2021 attempt to limit sales suggests there is insufficient will to ban kratom statewide.
Yet kratom consumers and vendors should remain vigilant regarding any changes in local laws. For now, Colorado’s open policy appears likely to continue as researchers work to better understand kratom’s risks and benefits.
Kratom’s Benefits and Risks – The Ongoing Debate
Much of the controversy around kratom stems from lack of definitive scientific research into its effects. However, here is the current understanding:
Pain relief comparable to opioids, but with a lower addiction risk
Helps manage opioid withdrawal symptoms
May aid treatment for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue
Provides an energy boost and heightened focus
Nausea, dizziness or headaches, especially at high doses
Contamination or mixing with prescription opioids by unscrupulous vendors
Unknown long-term side effects with prolonged heavy usage
Minor withdrawal symptoms for those discontinuing heavy kratom usage
Overall, most evidence suggests kratom provides more benefits than risks when used responsibly by adults. But detractors say risks are understudied, necessitating caution.
This is the crux of the debate – is the current research enough to prove kratom’s relative safety? Or does the lack of definitive data mean kratom usage should be restricted until further study?
Colorado’s lawmakers and policymakers have so far sided with allowing access to kratom while research continues. But they face continued pressure from ban proponents at both state and federal levels.
The Takeaway – Kratom’s Legal Status in Colorado
Kratom remains legal within Colorado as of 2023, joining a majority of U.S. states in setting no prohibitions. Sales, possession and usage are lawful for those over 18.
Attempts to introduce more severe restrictions have so far failed. While cautioning that risks require further study, Colorado has not moved to limit adult kratom usage.
Yet the federal position means kratom laws could still evolve, especially if new conclusive evidence emerges. Kratom consumers and advocates will likely need to continue defending kratom’s legal status.
For now, Coloradans can freely access and buy kratom provided they are over 18. responsible kratom usage also remains at the discretion of individual users, with no state laws intervening.
So while the debate around risks versus benefits continues, Colorado remains open to allowing and researching kratom. Barring any major change, kratom’s legal climate seems secure in the state for the foreseeable future.