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Latest development of Kratom legislation to ban use for Floridians under 21


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#1 Skywatcher

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 09:39 AM

This has not passed yet, but would potentially set a precedent for other states. Full article is copied to here:

 

Florida Kratom for customers under 21 to be banned if this bill passes

 

 

Kirby Wilson, Tampa Bay Times
Tue, January 18, 2022, 10:47 AM

TALLAHASSEE — A Florida Senate committee on Tuesday advanced a proposal that could have major implications for the state’s kratom industry.

The measure, Senate Bill 1076, would ban the sale of kratom to Floridians younger than 21 and put in place a series of quality-control regulations around kratom products. It would require kratom sellers to affix a label to any product with directions for suggested use. Violators would be subject to a $500 fine for a first offense, then $1,000 fines for subsequent infractions.

Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, the bill’s sponsor, said his measure would help the state crack down on unscrupulous businesses selling contaminated kratom products to customers.

“As long as it’s safe and as long as it’s marketed for what it is, I think people should have access and have the availability,” Gruters said. “We just want to eliminate the bad actors, and those people that are turning the product into something that it’s not.”

Kratom products are derived from a tree native to southeast Asia. The leaves can be chewed, smoked, brewed into a tea or taken via gel capsule. At lower doses, the plant acts as a mild stimulant. At higher doses, kratom acts as a sedative. Hundreds of businesses around the state sell the product.

Some studies have indicated the drug can help people addicted to opioids treat withdrawal symptoms. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any kratom products for that use, and it cautions the drug could present a safety hazard.

“The marketplace is sort of a wild, wild West where you don’t know what you are getting,” said Christopher McCurdy, professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Florida.

McCurdy noted that studies done in animals hint at the drug’s potential therapeutic benefits. But he said the scientific community is awaiting a series of government-approved clinical trials in the U.S. and Canada to learn more about kratom’s potential. Data from those trials should be out by the end of the year.

The plant has been the subject of controversy in local governments around the state in recent years. In 2014, Sarasota County — which Gruters represents — passed an ordinance making it illegal to possess kratom. The senator said Tuesday he believes his bill would supersede that ordinance.

In 2019, dozens of kratom advocates packed into a Clearwater City Council meeting to protest a city ban on the plant — even though no such ban was on the agenda.

Gruters’ bill, which was approved unanimously by the Senate committee Tuesday, does not designate a state agency to enforce its provisions. However, the House companion measure, sponsored by Rep. Alex Andrade, R-Pensacola, would delegate enforcement to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Gruters said he would file an amendment at his bill’s next committee stop to align it with the House measure.

Erin Moffet, a spokesperson for the agriculture department, said the agency does not have the authority to test for the kind of substances called for in the legislation. A bill analysis by Senate staff noted that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not have the capability to test kratom products in the way the bill calls for, either.

“Without additional resources or guidance on contaminant limits, these would not be able to be analyzed by FDACS,” Moffet said.


Edited by Skywatcher, 19 January 2022 - 09:40 AM.

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#2 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 03:24 PM

Looks like some good news, seems like they are willing to try to work with folk rather than go for the ban hammer.


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#3 Juthro

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 04:44 PM

I am always skeptical of new regulations, but on the surface it seems preferable to have a statewide set of rules instead of having certain zones around the state where it is illegal to possess kratom, and neighboring zones that you can purchase kratom in.

 

I can see a city, or even a county choose to enact an ordnance to prohibit the sale of kratom inside their boundaries, much like they do with pot shops here in AK, but possessing it shouldn't be a crime if you can buy at other places in the same state.



#4 Skywatcher

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Posted 19 January 2022 - 06:17 PM

The bill is stated as follows:

SB 1076: Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act

GENERAL BILL by Gruters

Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act; Creating the "Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act"; defining the terms “kratom extract,” “kratom product,” and “processor”; prohibiting processors from selling, preparing, distributing, or exposing for sale certain kratom products; prohibiting processors from distributing, selling, or exposing for sale a kratom product to an individual under 21 years of age; providing civil penalties, etc.

Effective Date: 7/1/2022
Last Action: 1/19/2022 Senate - Now in Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government

 

I am not sure we want Florida government setting the rules for what products are allowed, or in any way taking control of processing or distribution. Since a good majority of online vendors are located in Florida, any processing or distribution rules could have repercussions for all that order in other states. What are the costs involved if distributors need to verify age of any and all consumers?

 

My concerns may not be warranted, but I look at Florida's ongoing government restrictions and insanity, and have to be unsure of the ways the law may be interpreted and enforced if it passes.


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#5 Juthro

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 01:21 AM

I have to agree with that, the less Florida has to do with setting restrictions on anything, for anyone, the safer we all are.  Florida might as well be considered a banana republics in regard to the crazy shit their political leaders are saying, and doing these days.   



#6 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 20 January 2022 - 06:32 PM

I suppose I liken it to what I witness around weed legalization.  To be able to convince the greater public outside of its users that it is something acceptable there has to be safety barriers put in place, and sadly often a monetary incentive. Something to sell them on the idea that non users are going to see some benefit from allowing its use. Compassion does not run so easily when it comes to substances outside of big pharma's approval.


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