Over 52 million adults in the United States have tried kratom at least once.
Kratom is a natural herb that has become increasingly popular over the last few decades as an alternative medicine and recreational substance. However, the legal status of kratom remains murky across the country and often changes rapidly.
So is kratom legal in Illinois? Let’s take a look at the current laws regarding kratom as well as the history of kratom legality in the state.
The Current Legality of Kratom in Illinois
As of December 2023, kratom is legal in Illinois for adults over the age of 18. There are no state or local laws prohibiting the possession, use, or sale of kratom.
Kratom is not scheduled as a controlled substance in Illinois. This means it is legal to buy, sell, and consume kratom powder, extracts, leaves, and teas throughout the state.
However, although kratom is legal on a state level, there are a few caveats to consider:
- Kratom products cannot be sold to minors under the age of 18. Selling kratom to minors may result in penalties.
- Kratom products are not regulated by the FDA. There are no guarantees of purity, safety, or efficacy when purchasing kratom.
- Individual counties and cities in Illinois may pass local ordinances prohibiting kratom. However, as of late 2023, no jurisdiction has currently banned kratom.
As long as you are over 18, kratom remains legal to purchase and use under Illinois state law. Of course, it’s always a good idea to research local laws whenever traveling or moving within the state.
The History of Kratom Legality in Illinois
Illinois has had an interesting, winding journey when it comes to the legality of kratom over the past decade.
Here is a brief timeline of kratom legality in Illinois:
- 2014 – Illinois passes the Herbal Supplement Consumer Protection Act, requiring age restrictions and labels for kratom products. This implies kratom is legal, just regulated.
- May 2016 – Kratom is banned in Jerseyville, IL, the first jurisdiction in the state to prohibit it.
- 2016-2017 – Multiple attempts are made to ban kratom statewide, but these bills ultimately fail. Kratom remains legal.
- 2017 – Alton and Edwardsville, IL pass local kratom bans, joining Jerseyville.
- 2018 – Another bill is proposed in the state legislature to ban kratom but also fails to garner enough support.
- May 2018 – The city of Chicago briefly prohibits the sale of kratom before repealing the ban just one month later.
- 2020 – A new bill threatens to schedule kratom as a controlled substance like heroin or LSD. However, this bill dies in committee.
- 2022 – Yet another proposed statewide ban on kratom fails. Kratom retains its legality at the state level.
- Present Day – Kratom remains legal and unregulated in Illinois, outside of a few local jurisdictions that have their own bans. The state has no plans to revisit banning kratom.
Throughout the changing legal landscape, kratom advocates have consistently fought proposed bills and ordinances, succeeding in keeping kratom accessible for the majority of Illinois residents.
While nearby states like Wisconsin and Indiana once banned kratom, legislation has reversed those rulings, bringing the entire Midwest in alignment with legal, unrestricted kratom.
The Debate Around Kratom Legality
Kratom legality has been controversial not just in Illinois but across the nation.
Proponents of kratom argue that it is a safe, natural plant product that should be available for adults to use responsibly.
The American Kratom Association reports that over 5 million Americans regularly use kratom. Most find it beneficial for energy, pain relief, and alleviating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and opioid withdrawal.
On the other hand, government agencies like the FDA and DEA have pushed to ban kratom out of concerns for safety and abuse potential.
Between 2016 and 2018, the DEA came very close to prohibiting kratom on a federal level by classifying it as a Schedule I substance. However, widespread activism resulted in this decision being delayed indefinitely.
The debate continues around properly regulating kratom without limiting consumer freedom. However, as of now, Illinois lawmakers have sided with keeping kratom legal but restricted for adult use only.
Buying Kratom Legally in Illinois
As kratom is legal for those over 18, you can purchase quality kratom in Illinois from a number of brick-and-mortar and online vendors.
When searching for kratom sellers, look for vendors that implement best practices such as:
- 3rd-party lab testing for purity and contamination
- GMP-compliant manufacturing processes
- Responsible marketing, free of medical claims
- Clear labeling and dosage guidelines
- Reasonable prices and shipping rates
- Money-back guarantee and return policy
- Positive reputation within the kratom community
A few examples of reputable kratom retailers that will ship to Illinois addresses include:
Be wary of smoke shops, unverified online sellers, and suspiciously cheap kratom products, as these may be impure or cut with adulterants.
When purchased responsibly from legitimate vendors, high-quality kratom can be freely bought and enjoyed throughout most of Illinois.
The Future of Kratom Legality in Illinois
While the debate around kratom legality will likely continue in Illinois, the current landscape is relatively secure.
Kratom bans have failed consistently at the state level, indicating an overall tolerance of kratom by lawmakers. New prohibitive bills are unlikely to gain traction, barring major changes.
Localized kratom bans may still occasionally pop up in more conservative rural jurisdictions. However, most urban areas tend to allow kratom, in accordance with state law.
Barring federal intervention, Illinoisans can likely expect kratom to retain its legality and accessibility for the foreseeable future. Of course, kratom advocates will need to remain vigilant and be prepared to protect consumer freedom if new threats emerge.
In summary, Illinois is currently a state welcoming to the kratom community. Responsible adult kratomites have the green light to enjoy their botanical products while following safe practices and ethical purchasing.