The Big Apple is a bustling city composed of diverse ethnic groups, each of whom contribute to New York’s rich and varied cultural tapestry. The streets of Manhattan are alive not only with the footfalls of its 1.629 million residents but, also, with the exotic aroma of their herbs and spices.
Kratom is just one of the many fragrances one can detect in the air as they weave their way through the city’s many cold brewed coffee houses and curbside farmers’ markets. But it is this amazing Ayurvedic herb which has left an indelible vestige on the state’s forward-thinking counterculture.
The leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa or kratom tree have gained popularity among NYC’s vegan population, earning its place among other sacred herbs in the area’s kava bars and independently-run apothecaries. Ethnobotanical enthusiasts have fallen in love with the varied effects of kratom strains, to the extent that it can now be found in a number of shops across the East coast.
While there is no denying that kratom is very much in demand, it is worth mentioning that its availability may be poised to change in the near future. Read on to learn more about the legality of kratom in New York and what you can do to protect this Southeast Asian import.
As of this writing, kratom remains legal in the State of New York. However, pending legislation may affect one’s ability to procure kratom products. A statute has been proposed that would amend the state’s Agriculture and Markets Law.
The bill, which seeks to enact the New York kratom consumer protection act, has been introduced to committee and is awaiting the on floor calendar. This unfortunate piece of legislation has already gained the sponsorship of David Carlucci, a Democrat in the 38th Senate District.
Whether it will pass the Assembly and Senate vote(s) is something that is impossible to speculate about at this time. But we do know this much: Additional measures have already been proferred by representatives from both sides of the political spectrum.
A moderate partisan bill supported by Republicans was introduced in 2018 to render kratom sales to individuals under the age of 18 verboten. This statute would have fined business owners up to $500 for the sale of kratom to minors. Although this bill wound up dead, it effectively opened a rather one-sided dialogue about the potential future of kratom sales and possession.
A companion bill was proposed by the State Dems that same year, amending the suggested statute to codify any part or derivative of the Mitragyna speciosa plant as falling under the definition of “kratom.”
This bill was sponsored by no fewer than 19 representatives (15 Democrats and 4 Republicans), making it one of the most heavily espoused kratom legislation proposals to be shot down. Luckily it died in committee and kratom is currently legal in the State of New York.
Unfortunately this was not the final word and efforts are ongoing to prohibit or otherwise restrict the sale and use of kratom powder and kratom capsules. On January 3rd, 2018, a partisan bill sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D) was referred to the Assembly Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry Committee.
This legislation sought to outlaw the possession, sale or use of kratom entirely. The A231 Bill to Ban kratom all ages died like its predecessors, perhaps due to the rather Draconian implications of the sweeping law it aimed to enact.
As we enter the new year we must not rest easy in the knowledge of these past failures by New York bureaucrats. The legality of kratom in New York is not something that is guaranteed. Another bill seeking to outlaw kratom is as inevitable as it is alarming to the hundreds of Americans who value this Ayurvedic herb.
If you are like so many New Yorkers who value your privacy and believe in the autonomous spirit that was once every American’s birthright then you are surely eager to see kratom remain unregulated. Maybe you’ve been wondering what you can do to show your support for M. speciosa’s legal longevity.
There are many grassroots initiatives that you can throw your support behind, any one of which serves to embolden kratom users and the industry as a whole. You don’t have to throw your money at the issue either, you can donate your time just as easily as your donations.
Non-profit organizations like the AKA (American Kratom Association) and the Botanical Education Alliance are working tirelessly to get the message across to Washington’s power structure. They are regularly meeting with important politicians to discuss the science behind kratom and the relative safety of the plant and its alkaloids.
The AKA features a web page dedicated solely to finding AKA members in your state. This is the simplest way to come together for the legislative calendar year ahead. They will tell you everything you need to know about reaching out to your local Assembly members or Senators. And it doesn’t stop there, you can find copious amounts of scientific data on their site which can be shared with your representatives.
You can visit their websites and survey their homepage to learn more about how to lend a helping hand. Those who are truly passionate about kratom have lead marches on our nation’s capital, bringing the fight directly to the doorstep of those who have the ability to protect and preserve this beloved plant.
Additionally, there has been a petition up on Change.org urging the President to keep kratom legal. This is but one of the many petitions that have been posted and each of them needs your support.
If signing a petition isn’t your bag there are other ways to provide assistance. Our resources as a community are virtually boundless. Maybe you’re a career blogger who can write about kratom initiatives and share them to social media with the #KeepKratomLegal and #SaveKratom.
No amount of help is too big or too small. In 2020, there are unlimited means by which to have our voices heard. Consider what you have to offer and proceed accordingly. Be safe, be smart and be well.
If you’re a new arrival in the State of New York you can visit our NYC kratom buying guide to find the top places to buy kratom in NYC. Those living in the outer boroughs can share their favorite kratom spots in the comments below.
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