Is Kratom Legal in North Dakota? [2023 Update]

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Feb 20, 2023

Kratom law swings from one extreme to the other. At the federal level and in most U.S. states, kratom is 100% legal. But some places have classified the herb as a Schedule I drug! So, is kratom legal in North Dakota?

Good news. Kratom is legal in North Dakota, a state that has never passed any kratom-related legislation. The state has no restrictions on Mitragyna speciosa or its compounds. North Dakota has an unregulated kratom market, having not passed the Kratom Consumer Protection Act.

In this post, I will detail everything you should know about kratom in the Flickertail State. Legal history, future predictions, buying kratom in an unregulated state… Keep reading if you want to learn more about any of these topics!

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, kratom is legal in North Dakota with no strings attached! The state has no legislation restricting the possession, sale, or use of kratom. Better yet, the substance is legal in every square inch of North Dakota (i.e., no cities or counties have passed bans within the state).

Why is kratom legal in North Dakota? It is quite simple. The state has never scheduled the herb (or its active alkaloids) as a controlled substance.

Indeed, kratom is legal throughout the region, creating peace of mind for consumers. It is 100% legal in neighboring Minnesota and Montana, although kratom is restricted to individuals aged 21 and over in South Dakota.

History of Kratom Law in North Dakota

I am not sure the North Dakota Legislative Assembly even knows that kratom exists! Not only does the state have no active kratom legislation, but there has never been a bill to ban, regulate, study, or do anything else with the substance.

While relatively rare, such a legal history - or lack of it! - is not unprecedented. Despite its popularity, kratom hardly ever appears on the legislative radar in this part of the country.

North Dakota Kratom Consumer Protection Act

Legal kratom is great, but legal and regulated kratom is even better. Groups like the American Kratom Association (AKA) encourage states to pass the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). But the KCPA is yet to come to North Dakota.

Given there is no political desire to ban kratom in the Flickertail State, getting the KCPA passed here probably isn't a priority for the AKA and others. However, it would be a net benefit for consumers and something pro-kratom lawmakers should consider anyway.

What would the KCPA mean for North Dakota? Let's draw upon the main aspects of Utah's regulated kratom market to get an idea.

  • All products must have a third-party certificate of analysis consisting of purity and alkaloid potency data.

  • Vendors must not sell kratom products adulterated with injurious foreign materials.

  • Manufacturers must provide directions for use or a serving size for products.

  • Manufacturers must not create kratom products designed to mimic candy products.

  • Manufacturers must not add synthetic mitragynine, synthetic 7-hydroxymitragynine, or other synthetically derived kratom compounds to products.

In addition, the KCPA would address active concerns about unregulated kratom markets. The kratom-associated 2018 salmonella outbreak lingers long in the memory. And according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one of the 199 recorded cases was in North Dakotaone of the 199 recorded cases was in North Dakota.

It should do, although it is impossible to say with absolute certainty. But North Dakota has never shown signs of criminalizing kratom, which counts for a lot.

That said, the risk of accidents and scandals is greater in unregulated markets. It might only take one bad news story about kratom in North Dakota for legislators to start taking an interest.

We know that neighboring South Dakota is conscious of kratom. The state once explored banning various kratom alkaloids before compromising with an age requirement (21). Shenanigans in South Dakota showed the kratom community has a strong presence in the area.

Therefore, I am not worried about a future ban in North Dakota. If such a legal threat ever emerged, I am confident that kratom users and advocacy groups could organize to stop it!

Kratom at the Federal Level

Kratom lovers in the Flickertail State should be warier of the federal government than the North Dakota Legislative Assembly. This is where the main risk of a kratom ban comes from.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) does not like kratom, to put it politely! But for now, the federal agency is merely concerned about kratom rather than pressing to classify it as a controlled substance.

Discover more about the legal history and future possibilities for kratom at the federal level here.

Where to Buy Kratom in North Dakota

Expect to find stores offering kratom in North Dakota's cities and large towns. If you are lucky, it may be possible to acquire some in smaller urban areas, too.

Unfortunately, shopping for kratom in an unregulated market requires more consideration than your weekly shop at the grocery store does! You must take extra care to ensure you are being sold authentic kratom at a fair price.

Sure, they sell it, but gas stations and convenience stores are terrible places to buy kratom. These retailers are typically unfamiliar with the substance and don’t have the knowledge to distinguish good brands from bad ones. That is how sketchy kratom finds its way to the shelves.

I get all my kratom from the internet. Buying online has several perks, from better value for money to increased product variety. And genuine vendors happily provide third-party lab results to shoppers, either upon request or, preferably, by posting them on their website.

But if you must purchase kratom at a brick-and-mortar shop, look for botanical stores or vendors with kratom expertise. These may be hard to find in a small state like North Dakota, but I have found three shops that stock kratom. 

Papa Smokes Kratom Williston
Tokes R Us
Mellow Mood Fargo

Final Thoughts

North Dakota continues to hold no legal position on kratom. The herb is legal, unregulated, and under no current risk of a ban. I expect this legal situation to stay the same, but the state may debate passing the Kratom Consumer Protection Act at some stage. 

Feb 28th 2023 Andrew Summer

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