Is Kratom Legal in Wisconsin? [2023 Update]

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Feb 7, 2023

When it comes to kratom law, much is left up to the states. The federal government does not regulate or restrict the substance, leaving state governments with total power. But is kratom legal in Wisconsin?

Sadly, kratom is currently banned in Wisconsin. The state’s Controlled Substances Act classifies mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG) as Schedule I drugs. As of February 2023, Wisconsin is one of six U.S. states where kratom is illegal.

Why did the Badger State ban kratom, and is there any chance that lawmakers could reverse the decision? In this post, I will discuss those questions and much more!

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.

No, kratom is not legal in any sense in Wisconsin. And with the alkaloids mitragynine and 7-HMG categorized as Schedule I drugs, kratom is not even available on prescription. The situation is as bad as it could be.

Technically, it is mitragynine and 7-HMG that are prohibited in Wisconsin rather than the Mitragyna speciosa plant. But since these alkaloids are integral to any kratom product, the legislation effectively bans the whole plant.

Kratom’s Schedule I status applies to processors, retailers, and consumers. Manufacturing, selling, buying, possessing, and using kratom in Wisconsin are all illegal and subject to the state’s strictest drug penalties.

What is the Punishment for Breaking Kratom Law in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin’s harsh kratom laws are no joke. Anybody caught in possession of (or attempting to possess) a Schedule I or II controlled substance is guilty of a Class I felony, as per the Wisconsin Legislature.

A Class I felony is punishable by up to 3.5 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Class I felony convictions remain permanently on a criminal record, and felons cannot vote in elections while serving a jail sentence.

And that is for mere possession. Class I is the least severe felony dished out in Wisconsin. The state regards manufacturing or distributing kratom as a worse crime, for which steeper fines and jail sentences apply.

Note: Be careful if you live in Iowa, Michigan, or Minnesota but reside near the Wisconsin border. It won’t matter that you come from another state if you get busted with kratom in Wisconsin, even if you are passing through.

Why did Wisconsin Ban Kratom?

Wisconsin banned kratom in 2014 in a move that angered activists. Making kratom illegal was one thing, but grouping it with synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts was quite another.

Wisconsin Senate Bill 325 (WI SB325) was the legislation in question. Introduced in October 2023, the bipartisan bill proposed several amendments to the state’s Controlled Substances Act. WI SB325 passed in April 2014, making kratom illegal in Wisconsin.

The original plan was to lump kratom alkaloids in with synthetic opioids. But that would have been ridiculous given that these are natural substances and not even alkaloids! WI SB325 ultimately categorized mitragynine and 7-HMG as stimulants.

Kratom users argued that Wisconsin lawmakers failed to do their research on kratom’s key alkaloids before including them in the bill. Notably, the American Kratom Association (AKA) was founded in the same year.

Kratom Consumer Protection Act

The Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) is the AKA’s proposed regulatory solution. Multiple states have adopted it, including Utah, which once looked at banning kratom. The KCPA covers several areas. These include:

  • Imposing strict product labeling requirements on manufacturers

  • Banning adulterated and contaminated kratom products

  • Banning products containing synthetic kratom alkaloids

  • Stopping minors from accessing kratom products

Many anti-kratom state legislators worry about unregulated Wild West markets. Their fears aren’t unfounded, but the knee-jerk reaction to make kratom a Schedule I drug doesn’t help anybody. The KCPA is a solution that works for everybody.

If kratom ever becomes legal again in the Badger State, it would surely be through the creation of a regulated market. But will Wisconsin ever pass the KCPA?

Will Wisconsin Ever Legalize Kratom?

There is hope for kratom in Wisconsin, but it is a tough ask. Some lawmakers would like to pass the KCPA. However, it is easier to classify a substance as a Schedule I drug than to remove it from the category.

In late 2019, the Wisconsin Senate Health Committee held an Informational Hearing on kratom. The AKA met with doctors and senators to make the case for repealing the ban. That the political will was there to get this far is encouraging.

In October 2021, a bipartisan bill appeared in Wisconsin’s House of Representatives. Wisconsin House Bill 599 (WI AB599) proposed de-scheduling mitragynine and 7-HMG, passing KCPA-style regulation, and restricting kratom sales to persons aged 21 and over.

Annoyingly, WI AB599 died in the House in early 2022. Medical doctors and law enforcement officers objected to the kratom regulation plans, leading legislators to abandon the bill.

I am excited to see the desire to legalize kratom in Wisconsin. But future legislative efforts will likely be met with similar opposition. Unless scientists make positive kratom discoveries, it is difficult to envisage Wisconsin repealing its ban.

Kratom at the Federal Level

With kratom already banned in Wisconsin, there is little to fear from the federal government. If it is ever made federally legal, that would simply reinforce the state situation.

But things could get interesting if the federal government decides to go down the regulatory route. In late 2022, lawmakers introduced the Federal Clarity for Kratom Consumers Act. It is unclear whether it will pass, but it is great to see such a bill!

Click here to find out more about how kratom law at the federal level could affect states.

Final Thoughts

I love kratom, and since you are here, I am guessing you do, too! But I do not want to give you false hope. Legalizing kratom will be an uphill struggle in Wisconsin - and the fight is far from being won.

But don’t give up hope. The American Kratom Association is pushing for legal kratom in Wisconsin. Keep an eye out for petitions to sign or other chances to make your voice heard.

Feb 28th 2023 Andrew Summer

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