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6/13/2024 Assembly approves Edwards, Gallo bill that would regulate the distribution of kratom
PLEASE NOTE: The governor vetoed this bill on June 26.

STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly today approved legislation introduced by Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton) and Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) that would regulate the distribution of kratom, a natural substance grown primarily in Indonesia, that is used by people to overcome opioid addiction, withdrawal, and to treat anxiety, depression and other ailments.

The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (2024-H 7231A, 2024-S 2704A) would ban the adulteration of kratom with a dangerous non-kratom substance as to render the product injurious to a consumer. The act would require that any kratom product contain adequate labeling directions necessary for safe and effective use by consumers.

“Kratom, which is used by about 15 million Americans, is being bought out of state and used by Rhode Islanders,” said Representative Edwards. “Given the wide availability of the substance, we want to make sure that the product is safe, unadulterated and not mixed with other substances. The bill would also prevent retailers from selling kratom to anyone below the age of 21 and establish fines for those who violate the law.”

A person who violates the provisions of the act would be subject to a fine of not more than $500 for the first offense and not more than $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense. The bill also subjects kratom to the state’s sales and use tax. With the passage of this legislation, Rhode Island would join 45 other states that have laws allowing the distribution and use of kratom.

“Many people have found kratom to be a relief for acute and chronic pain, and others have found that it can alleviate anxiety and depression, and even help with opioid withdrawal symptoms,” said Senator Gallo. “Rhode Island is the only state in New England — and only one of a handful nationally — where kratom is illegal. Given the benefits it has in helping to overcome these afflictions, I think the state would be best served by the legalization of this substance.”

The measure now moves to the governor’s office.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903