Is Kratom Legal in California? [2023 Update]

Hi there! I’m Phillip, and just like you, I'm very passionate about kratom. I've been using kratom since 2017. Therefore, I'd like to share with you everything I know about this amazing plant. Learn more at About Us.
Jan 13, 2023

If you're heading out to California for a vacation or you're planning on staying there for good, you may want familiarize yourself with the laws regarding kratom. 

So, if you're wondering what kratom's legality is in California, I (a California resident from Huntington Beach) will be happy to explain. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in our articles are represented solely as the opinions of the respective authors, who do not claim to be medical professionals. We are not medical experts, just kratom enthusiasts.
Is Kratom Legal in California?

Like any other state in the United States, knowing if kratom is legal in California is essential to avoiding problems with the law. Thankfully, it is legal to distribute, buy, and possess kratom in California.

However, there are some exceptions. It may be possible to buy and possess kratom in California, but it is prohibited in certain cities (not counties), including: 

- San Diego
- Oceanside.

These are the only two locations in California where kratom has been banned. 

The city of San Diego has 1.5 million residents, and legislators have not looked kindly upon kratom. Their Municipality Code prohibits the use of kratom, in any way shape or form. It's been this way since June 14, 2016. 

Furthermore, the city officials classify kratom as a Federal Schedule 1 drug along with cocaine and heroin (a little much in my opinion). 

However, I am not at all surprised, as the DEA attempted to do the same thing in 2016, but at the federal level. The FDA is also not exactly very fond of kratom. It has labeled the plant as an unsafe product that is of no use for the public.  

They also claim it causes hallucinations which may lead to criminal activity. However, in my many years of research, I have yet to find a personal testimony claiming to have experienced hallucinations.  

Although the city may have prohibited its use, some towns surrounding San Diego still use and legalizes kratom, including the counties of Orange, Riverside, Chula Vista, and Imperial. Just make sure not to travel within San Diego's jurisdiction with kratom or you will have broken the law. 

In addition to San Diego, Oceanside is another city where the use, distribution, and possession of kratom is illegal. You can find the specific laws in the municipality code of Oceanside. 

The kratom ban in California does not cover all the places in the state. So here is the list of the cities and counties that considers kratom a legal substance:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Long Beach
  • Sacramento
  • Anaheim
  • Chula Vista
  • Murrieta
  • Santa Ana
  • Santa Clarita
  • Bakersfield
  • Oxnard
  • Fresno
  • Victorville
  • Irvine
  • Mission Viejo
  • Modesto
  • Riverside
  • San Jose
  • Concord
  • Stockton
  • Oakland
  • Indio
Does California Regulate Kratom?

Does California Regulate Kratom?

Besides being illegal in San Diego and Oceanside, kratom is completely unregulated in the rest of the state.

In fact, California state legislators have never made a proposal regarding the banning or regulation of kratom.

Therefore, you may want to be extra wary about the kratom you purchase while in the state. Look for things like lab tests, organic labels, and a customer guarantee.

Will Kratom Remain Legal in California
Kratom will more than likely remain legal in California's foreseeable future, especially since marijuana was also recently legalized in the state. 

I don't see us retracting our laws. Hence, if you're worried about breaking the law or traveling to CA and getting caught in an unsuspecting ban, don't worry. The odds of that happening are very slim.  

Where to Buy Kratom Products in California?

Understanding Federal Kratom Law

Although the DEA has attempted to classify kratom as a schedule 1 substance, our beloved plant remains unregulated under federal law. However, the future of kratom's legality is not set in stone. 

Want to learn more about the federal legality of kratom and how it may affect California? Click here

Where to Buy Kratom Products in California?

Buying kratom in California is very easy since it is accessible basically everywhere in the state, with the exception of Oceanside and San Diego.

If you're in the market for kratom, I would like to first suggest buying kratom online, as doing so will cost you less. Brick and mortar stores have higher overhead, which results in higher prices and less turnover. 

However, if you're in urgent need of kratom, and have to purchase it in person, you are very likely to find it in the following locations.

1. Dispensaries

2. Vape shops

3. Smoke shops

4. Head shops

You might also find it at liquor stores or gas stations, but not as likely as the list mentioned above. 

I've yet to see kratom sold at 711 or Circle K. 

Since kratom is not regulated in California, make sure the product does not contain harmful substances such as heavy metals, pesticides, or pathogens. 

You can do so by asking the vendor. Lab tests would be preferable, but the vendor may not have them on hand. 

However, if the product has been lab tested, you might find the results linked on the company's website.  



In short, you can still enjoy using kratom in California, with the exception of San Diego and Oceanside.

You can find it sold in most places related to smoke shops or dispensaries, and maybe at a gas station or liquor store. 

However, buying online may save you a few bucks!

Feb 28th 2023 Phillip Rivera

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