Is Kratom Legal in Iowa? [2023 Update]

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Feb 7, 2023

Kratom use in the U.S. has grown over the years, and more people than ever are curious to know whether the plant is legal in their area. Of course, that is why you are here! You want an answer to the question: is kratom legal in Iowa?

I am happy to report that kratom is legal in Iowa! Better than that, it is legal everywhere in the Hawkeye State, and there are no restrictions on manufacturing, selling, buying, possessing, or using. Kratom’s legal situation in Iowa could not be clearer!

But things could easily have been different. In this post, I will discuss what Iowa thinks of kratom, looking back at the legal history and thinking ahead to what the future may hold. If that sounds like your thing, keep reading.

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.

Yes, and I can say that without adding an obscure caveat! Iowa has a Controlled Substances Act, but neither kratom nor its alkaloids feature. And that is all there is to it.

Importantly, everywhere in Iowa is on the same page. We don’t see cities like Ames or Des Moines moving independently on kratom and introducing restrictions. But this has happened in some states, including neighboring Illinois.

If you live in Dubuque or anywhere close to the Iowa-Wisconsin border, be aware that kratom is banned in the latter. Worse than that, kratom is a Schedule I drug in Wisconsin. If caught with kratom there, you could be slapped with a heavy fine or even thrown in jail.

Has Iowa Attempted to Ban Kratom?

Yes, kratom’s legal status in Iowa became uncertain in 2014. This was around the time that kratom first emerged on the radar of U.S. lawmakers. The substance was poorly understood back then, and some states (including Wisconsin) reacted by making it a Schedule I drug.

2014: Iowa House Bill 2355 (IA HF2355)

This is precisely what the Iowa House Public Safety Committee proposed with Iowa House Bill 2355 (IA HF2355). Introduced in February 2014, the bill described kratom as a hallucinogenic substance and called for it to be grouped with ecstasy, heroin, LSD, and other hardcore drugs.

A drug must have high abuse potential and no accepted medical use to warrant Schedule I status. Sure, there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, but to suggest that the plant qualifies as having high abuse potential is beyond absurd.

Describing kratom as hallucinogenic also warps the truth. Mind-bending drugs like DMT, LSD and mescaline are hallucinogens, not a plant that is part of the coffee family!

It’s true, Mitragyna speciosa (kratom) belongs to the Rubiaceae family, also known as the madder or bedstraw family. Indeed, a petition against IA HF2355 (then known as IA HSB640) by the Botanical Legal Defense to the Iowa State House made this very point.

Ultimately, IA HF2355 died in the House, allowing Iowan kratom lovers to breathe a sigh of relief. Thankfully, there have been no attempts to ban kratom in the Hawkeye State since.

Will Iowa Regulate Kratom?

As of February 2023, Iowa does not regulate kratom. However, there is increasing appetite among activists for states to pass the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA).

Sensible regulation would enhance Iowa’s kratom industry, cleaning up the market so customers can buy products with confidence. At present, there is no consumer protection from unsafe, fake, and adulterated kratom.

But with no current threat to legal kratom in Iowa, the AKA is probably focussed on more pressing matters. Getting the KCPA passed is the ultimate goal, but stopping states from making kratom illegal is more important in the short term. 

Will Iowa Ban Kratom?

I cannot see a scenario where Iowa bans kratom anytime soon. If lawmakers wanted to clamp down on the industry, they have not been short of opportunities to do so. That no bills to ban kratom have come about since 2014 is a positive sign.

But kratom is more likely to face legal scrutiny in Iowa the longer the market remains unregulated. If there are no proper checks on what is being sold, there is a risk of contaminated or otherwise dangerous products making it onto the shelves and into the hands of consumers.

And we shouldn’t assume that legislators will act logically. If the kratom industry’s reputation is damaged by a negative story, Iowan politicians might consider prohibition instead of regulation.

Kratom at the Federal Level

Kratom is not currently a controlled substance at the federal level. However, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was keen to make it a Schedule I substance in 2016.

While the plans were dropped, the federal government could have more to say on kratom in the months and years ahead. And if national kratom policy changes, that may affect Iowa.

Click here to learn more about the federal kratom debate and the potential consequences for states. 

Where to Buy Premium Kratom Products in Iowa?

Expect to find kratom vendors in Iowa’s big cities, including Des Moines, Ames, Dubuque, and Sioux City. Many towns will also have stores selling kratom products. And, if there isn’t a shop near you, you can get products shipped to your door from an online vendor.

The last option is how I buy all my kratom. I don’t see the point of traveling to a brick-and-mortar store and paying more when I can find better deals and often higher-quality products online.

Don’t get me wrong, Iowa has plenty of excellent kratom stores that know the plant inside out. But the gas stations, convenience stores, and smoke shops selling kratom are less trustworthy. And I don’t like taking risks when buying kratom in an unregulated state.

However, there are situations where purchasing from a physical store may suit you better. If you want to do that in Iowa, check out these vendors. 

The Konnexion
Shag West Des Moines

Final Thoughts

Life is good for kratom users in Iowa. The substance is legal and looks likely to stay that way. All that remains is for product regulation to come to the state in the shape of the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.

Feb 28th 2023 Andrew Summer

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