By Triumph Kratom | October 22, 2019
Pennsylvania kratom legality has become a complex matter in the state due to the changing attitudes and opinions of both the state’s citizens and lawmakers. There have been some unfavorable reports that have come out when it comes to kratom use, and these stories may take some time to untangle.
Pennsylvania may not have many formal views on the subject of kratom, but after nearby states have raised concerns, it seems clear that legislators are keeping this matter on their radar. In this article, you'll more about the current kratom laws in Pennsylvania, what legislators are saying about it, and how this might impact future laws.
There are no formal classification rules for kratom in Pennsylvania. It is currently unregulated in the state, meaning it’s unrestricted for qualified merchants and residents to purchase, sell, make, and own. If local law enforcement suspects abuse of kratom or any kind of foul-play, it’s likely that each situation will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Formal legislation for kratom in Pennsylvania has not yet been drafted. Rep. Scott Conklin from Centre County state in April 2019 that he wished to ban kratom but his efforts were stemmed by advocates from both within the state and across the country. State Senator James Merritt has also stated that he believed kratom should be banned.
There have also been some wider debate as to how Pennsylvania kratom laws should be structured, but the lack of evidence makes the debates difficult to conduct. Roseann Termini, a professor at Widener University, has essentially said that the unknowns of the plant are simply too vast to make any worthwhile conclusions. As a specialist in food and drug laws, Termini would like to see more research done to determine how kratom should be classified for public use if buying kratom in Pennsylvania should be more regulated.
There has also been some pushback from the medical community. While most physicians appear to be largely unaware of kratom, the coroners in Chester and Bucks County have been most vocal about their concern. After finding mitragynine (the active ingredient in kratom) after performing autopsies, some coroners have concluded that kratom is dangerous.
Citizens in Pennsylvania are free to purchase kratom in all cities and municipalities. While it’s possible there will be more pushback in Chester and Bucks County, there have been no reports indicating trouble with law enforcement anywhere in the state (presuming that residents are strictly using kratom and no other illegal substances).
There have been anecdotal stories about certain places in Pennsylvania selling low-quality kratom. Because kratom is largely unregulated, it’s likely that some vendors will try to take advantage of the lack of laws to sell their customers an inferior product.
Kratom in Pennsylvania is legal to buy and ship to anywhere within the state and supported by major carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS.
The advocacy in Pennsylvania has been strong for kratom. When Conklin made the announcement to ban kratom, he was swamped with more than 100 emails and phone calls. While few objections came from within his district, he was surprised at the scale of the response. In addition, the American Kratom Association (AKA), an advocate group for the plant, sent a representative from the organization to address Conklin’s concerns.
Despite the advocacy though, there are movements against kratom too. A website called OverdoseFreePA states there were 27 deaths where the active alkaloid mitragynine was present. This data appears to come from some of the county coroners in the state who update the database based on their findings. The group also presented at the Allegheny County Overdose Prevention Coalition (ACOPC) Summer Conference in 2019. The group prepared a formal presentation claiming that kratom was the culprit for more than 100 deaths over a 17-month period according to the Center for Disease Control.
There is also a family in West Chester that created a petition to ban kratom that was signed by more than 1,500 people around the country. The family started their efforts after their son, Caleb Sturgis, passed away. The coroner in Chester stated that first Sturgis’ heart stopped due to a fatal overdose of mitragynine before crashing his car. There was no chemical analysis completed on the specific kratom purchased by Sturgis though the parents are suing the company where Sturgis purchased the plant.
It should be noted that many of the autopsies for deaths associated with kratom found additional drugs and contaminants in the kratom that may have accounted for the fatalities. According to the AKA, there have been no associated deaths with pure kratom. The associated deaths reported by organizations like the FDA included extenuating factors, such as adulterated kratom.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, kratom powder Pennsylvania, kratom capsules, and kratom extract are confirmed to be effective at interacting with the same receptors in the brain as opioids. This interaction can resolve pain and increase sedation within the human body.
For more information on kratom laws across the country, check out our Kratom Legality Map.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Adminstration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.