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Ah, kratom law! It might not be the most fascinating subject, but it is arguably the most important - especially in the United States. With small but consequential differences between states, you must know the law where you reside. That brings us to this question: is kratom legal in Virginia?
As of 2023, kratom is legal in Virginia. Neither the Mitragyna Speciosa plant nor its alkaloids are controlled substances in the Old Dominion. Vendors can sell it, consumers can buy it, and Virginians can incorporate kratom into their lives without legal threats.
We love to see it. But how did the kratom industry reach this point in Virginia, and is it possible that the plant’s legal status could change? As a kratom law geek and occasional visitor to Virginia, I can address these questions for you.
Why is Kratom Legal in Virginia?
Kratom is legal in Virginia because it is not a controlled substance. Therefore, the plant is not listed in the Virginia Drug Control Act, a state-level version of the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.
And that is vital because some states classify kratom in the most restrictive Schedule I category! Thankfully, the Virginia General Assembly keeps an open mind toward the substance. Even better, kratom is legal in every city, county, and town in the Old Dominion.
Indeed, Virginia lawmakers have not had much to say regarding kratom full stop. Some states have regulated the industry via the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). But Virginia has no pending plans to do so. I will discuss how the lack of regulation affects consumers later.
The History of Kratom Law in Virginia
Since hitting the headlines in the mid-2010s, kratom’s legality has come under threat in several states. Virginia bucks the trend, with no bills introduced to ban kratom in the state’s Senate or its House of Delegates.
That is a slight surprise given Virginia’s proximity to D.C. and the federal government. After all, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) wanted to make kratom a Schedule I substance in 2016. And it only takes one lawmaker to introduce a bill to the Virginia Senate or House.
But we are not complaining! With kratom under threat in so many places, it is about time that activists had an easy ride somewhere. That said, a 2020 bill introduced to the Virginia House of Representatives suggests kratom could face increasing scrutiny.
Virginia Board of Pharmacy Review
Rather than directly attempting to outlaw kratom, Virginia House Joint Resolution 39 (HJR39) called for the state’s Board of Pharmacy to review the substance. HJR39 was introduced by Virginia Delegate John McGuire (R).
The bill noted increased calls to U.S. poison control centers for kratom and 91 fatal overdoses linked to kratom between 2016 and 2017.
Had HJR39 passed, the Board of Pharmacy study would have examined five areas:
The number of kratom-associated deaths in Virginia
Medical problems linked to kratom in the state
How widespread kratom use is in Virginia
Whether kratom has health benefits
The cost of making kratom a controlled substance in Virginia
How to schedule kratom if the Board of Pharmacy determines it should be a controlled substance
This would have been an all-encompassing study. But it is a moot point now. HJR39 died in the House Rules Committee in February 2020, one month after being introduced. No bills of such ilk have been introduced to the Virginia General Assembly since.
Will Virginia Keep Kratom Legal?
As of 2023, things look positive for kratom in Virginia. No lawmakers have a vendetta against the substance, although none have called for a Kratom Consumer Protection Act to regulate the market, either.
While no kratom-related bills have passed in Virginia, the state seems to favor a science-based approach. Considering that some states have banned kratom through inaccurate descriptions, we appreciate the desire to go by the evidence and facts.
This level-headed outlook toward drug policy bodes well for kratom users in Virginia. This looks like a state that wants to hear all sides of the story. If the worst ever happens and the Old Dominion tries to schedule kratom, consumers would likely get a chance to voice their views.
But let’s hope it never comes to that! If Virginia ever does change its kratom stance, I hope they will look at states that have passed the KCPA and take a pragmatic policy approach.
Kratom Law at the Federal Level
The federal government is close to home for Virginians and could yet affect the state’s kratom policy. Any effort to prohibit or regulate at the federal level could filter down to the states.
Does Congress have plans for kratom? Learn more about our perspective on kratom’s federal future here.
Where to Buy Kratom Products in Virginia?
Perhaps you live in Virginia, or maybe you visit the state sometimes. You can purchase kratom from one of the state’s hundreds of vendors whether you are a resident or not!
Buying kratom in Virginia takes a little thought. With no industry regulation, there are fewer checks on brands, meaning plenty of sketchy stuff reaches the market. Avoid getting ripped off or putting your well-being at risk by purchasing third-party lab-tested products.
Specialist kratom shops take lab testing more seriously than your typical gas station or convenience store. But there is one thing nearly all brick-and-mortar vendors have in common: they are crazy expensive!
Generally speaking, physical stores cannot compete with online retailers on price. However, in my experience, some shops take advantage, charging double or triple what they should. Do some research on what you should be paying before parting with your hard-earned money!
While I prefer buying kratom online, purchasing it in person is sometimes the only option. If you are in Virginia and need kratom right away, here are three stores that might help.
Kratom is legal throughout Virginia - everywhere from Norfolk to Chesapeake! And there is no indication that this may change anytime soon. However, legislators have previously shown interest in studying kratom (both its benefits and downsides).
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