As the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids serves as a historical crossroads between the bohemian sprawl of the Downtown Arts District and the rustic presence of the state’s enduring Dutch culture.
A safe haven for those fleeing religious persecution, Grand Rapids has long been considered a sanctuary city of sorts for those who wish to enjoy personal freedom and liberty. What was once considered the furniture capital of Michigan, Grand Rapids is now fondly referred to as Beer City thanks to its growing brewing industry.
The so-called Beer City Ale Trail is comprised of more than 80 breweries, making for more craft beer per square mile than almost any other place in the United States. As if this wasn’t awesome enough, the city of Grand Rapids has passed an ordinance whose chief intent is to provide safe and dependable access to medical marijuana to Michigan patients.
With the rise of cannabis dispensaries came a keen interest in alternative herbs, of which Mitragyna speciosa is one. Despite some unfortunate cases involving acute kratom toxicity, accessibility to kratom products has continued to spread across Kent County.
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As of 2020, kratom is legal to sell, possess and consume in the state of Michigan. In the past, Mitragyna speciosa and its alkaloids—mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine—has been the subject of much debate. In 2014, a kratom ban was proposed, but it failed to pass. This wasn’t the first time and it likely will not be the last.
In 2018, four kratom-related deaths led to grieving family members calling for Mitragyna speciosa to be outlawed. This proposal was swiftly rejected on the basis that kratom was not found to be life-threatening on its own.
In August of 2019, a Senate bill was introduced which sought to schedule kratom as a controlled substance. This, too, failed to pass muster among deciding parties. As of this time, no new legislation regarding kratom legality is pending in the state. However, it remains a subject of much scrutiny in certain municipalities.
We strongly urge our readers to familiarize themselves with local kratom legality before attempting to make a purchase. It is imperative that we follow the letter of the law as the future of Mitragyna speciosa depends on those who use it.
There are approximately 20 shops selling kratom in the greater Grand Rapids area. This includes tobacco shops, vaporizer stores, herbal apothecaries and coffee shops.
For the discerning user who doesn’t want to be bothered with sub par establishments we’ve narrowed this list down to the five finest choices in town. The following represents the highest-rated shops for kratom in Grand Rapids:
In 2018 Michigan native Riccardo Schinina and his partner Karen Salenno opened Kava Kasa on Cherry Street. The kava lounge was the first of its kind in the state has since amassed a sizable and devoted following.
As anyone who’s visited St. Petersburg, FL can tell you, kava lounges offer the ideal hang for like-minded botanical enthusiasts who prefer to enjoy their exotic beverages in a social environment. Kava Kasa offers just such a place. The comfy location and community-conscious ambiance is just what most of us think of when we think of chugging a brew with our fellow kratom connoisseurs.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Smoke shops are NOT the way to go if you value freshness, potency and honesty. The owners invariably order their product from wholesale distributors who almost always fail to disclose the precise origins of their kratom strains.
What’s worse, kratom remains an unregulated substance here in the U.S. As such, distributors are under no obligation to provide proper labeling or dosage instructions on their packaging. And if that’s not enough to ruffle your feathers, consider the fact that many smoke shop proprietors price gouge so they can pay their rent while turning a tidy profit.
On the flip side, online kratom vendors can be transparent, generous and far more knowledgeable. The highest-rated kratom suppliers on the Internet deliver fast shipping, free sampler packs, detailed information about strains (and their effects) and a wealth of discounts, refunds and special giveaways.
If you ask the average headshop clerk what the difference is between Red Bali and Red Borneo, he/she will look at your like you have three heads. By contrast, trusted online sellers can tell you where those strains were sourced from, how they were harvested and what makes their effects unique.
And if you’re anything like me, you consider your business to be just that—your business, nobody else’s. To that end online kratom vendors give you privacy-conscious payment methods such as e-check or cryptocurrency. They also mail your “mitra tea” in discreet packaging, so no one but you will know what’s been delivered to your home or office.
That’s the way it should be. It’s also the way it can be if you avoid neighborhood smoke shops.
There are literally hundreds of e-commerce sites offering kratom in a variety of forms. I’m not about to tell you that they’re all better than smoke shops…because they’re not. The simple truth is, the ethnobotanical industry has become over-saturated and with that over-saturation has come a deluge of fly-by-night kratom brands and bad actors.
It might seem, at first blush, like an uphill battle to distinguish between the shady scammers and the real deal. Fortunately this is not actually the case. Finding a legit source for kratom is much easier than it would appear.
For starters, you can usually tell if a vendor is on the level by checking with non-profit organizations like the AKA (American Kratom Association) and other watchdog groups. If you see an AKA logo displayed on a seller’s website it’s a good indication that they are in the biz for the right reasons.
Furthermore, the top dogs in the industry are committed to customer satisfaction. You’ll be able to tell if you’re dealing with the Real McCoy if the site in question mentions GMP compliance or carries a 30 day money back guarantee.
In the interest of nudging you in the right direction, I’ve compiled a list of my 5 favorite online kratom suppliers. Each of these independent businesses has been thoroughly vetted and I’ve returned to each of them time and time again.
No matter which company you decide to buy from, make sure to do your own independent research before placing an order. Think about joining some online kratom forums and seeing what users have to say about the brands and strains they’ve tried. Look for warnings and heed advice. Be safe, be smart and be well.
We back all of our products with a full MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE so that you can order risk-free