If you’ve tried searching in vain for high-quality kratom in the Dairy State, you’ve probably found yourself asking: Is kratom legal in Wisconsin? Unfortunately, the answer is a firm no. Kratom has been illegal throughout Wisconsin since 2014, when the State Senate passed Wisconsin Senate Bill 325 (SB325). Now, distributing or possessing kratom in Wisconsin could land you in hot water. It’s not all bad news, though. Even as of this writing, there are legislators and advocates who are actively pushing to change the legal status of kratom in Wisconsin.
Is Kratom Legal in Wisconsin?
In 2013, Wisconsin state legislators were presented with a bill seeking to add several new substances to the state’s Controlled Substances list. The list was intended to crack down on so-called “designer drugs”—many of which were available in stores. Two of the substances included in the bill were mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, the two most abundant alkaloids in kratom. The classification of these alkaloids would result in an instant ban on kratom in Wisconsin.
The Senate passed the bill in 2014, and that passage was met with immediate controversy. Originally, the state intended to classify kratom alkaloids as synthetic opioids. But as advocates quickly pointed out, kratom alkaloids are no such thing. They’re naturally derived compounds from the Mitragyna speciosa evergreen tree. They’re neither synthetic nor opioids. These types of commonly held myths about kratom may provide some insight as to why it was classified in the first place. The state ultimately classified the alkaloids as Schedule 1 stimulants and not synthetic opioids, but the prohibition still stands.
As of 2022, Wisconsin is one of only six states to have a total kratom ban in effect. The other states are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
What Are the Penalties for Possessing Kratom in Wisconsin?
The penalties for possessing, manufacturing, or distributing kratom in Wisconsin can be severe. Because kratom is classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, possession (even in small amounts) constitutes a Class I felony in the state. Anyone caught with kratom may face up to 42 months in jail, a $10,000 fine, or both. Subsequent offenses carry more severe penalties. The penalties are more severe still for anyone caught manufacturing, distributing, or intending to distribute kratom in Wisconsin.
Interstate commerce is also forbidden. So if you travel to Wisconsin with kratom in your possession, or if you drive through Wisconsin to get to another state, you could still be liable for the same penalties listed above. For now, your safest bet is to avoid stepping foot in Wisconsin if you’re carrying kratom.
Could Kratom Be Legal in Wisconsin in the Near Future?
Though there is currently no legal kratom in Wisconsin, recent news suggests that some legislators are pushing for change. Just recently, a regulatory board agreed to provide guidance on kratom to the state legislature. The guidance was requested by a bipartisan group of legislators.
What this means is that Wisconsin’s Controlled Substances Board intends to study kratom and report to legislators regarding the effects, benefits, and risks, along with recommendations as to whether kratom should remain on the Controlled Substances list or permitted for purchase—perhaps with specific regulations in place.
Unfortunately, kratom advocates still have an uphill battle ahead. Wisconsin law requires a whole litany of conditions to be met before any substance can be removed from the Controlled Substances list. In essence, advocates will need to provide hard scientific data demonstrating a low potential for abuse and a minimal risk to public health. Luckily, there is a growing body of new research on kratom that attests to its benefits.
Back in March, a state Assembly Committee voted 9-2 in favor of legalizing kratom. And although the bill failed to pass the legislature, it is expected to be reconsidered in the next session. If the current bipartisan support remains and is reinforced by a positive recommendation from the Wisconsin’s Controlled Substances Board, we may soon see legal kratom in Wisconsin. Still, there’s much work that needs to be done, and nothing is certain as of this point.
Where to Buy Kratom in Wisconsin
Right now, it’s unlikely that you’ll find kratom for sale in any retail stores in Wisconsin. Some Wisconsin residents purchase kratom online, but this carries serious risks given the severity of the potential consequences. If you want to experience kratom, your best bet is to travel to a neighboring state like Iowa, Minnesota, or Illinois—or to any of the 44 states where kratom is permitted. Just remember not to bring your kratom across state lines into Wisconsin.
If you’d like to help make kratom legal in Wisconsin, get involved in grass-roots activism. Connect with organizations like the American Kratom Association, write letters to state officials, and highlight the positive benefits of kratom. Encourage Wisconsin to adopt the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA), a set of initiatives that would offset the risks of dangerous kratom products hitting the market.
The KCPA is an initiative that the American Kratom Association is pushing for nationwide. It dictates that kratom products must be all-natural, non-synthetic, free of adulterants, accurately labeled, and available only to adults. It also places limits on the alkaloid concentration (specifically 7-hydroxymitragynine) to minimize the potential for negative side effects. States like Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Georgia have already adopted the KCPA, and other states are considering it right now. If legislators want to protect the public from harmful kratom products, this is the best way to do it. For right now, there’s no easy way to answer the question of where to buy kratom in Wisconsin. Until the law changes, our only recommendation is to be patient and encourage your state legislators to reconsider the current prohibition. We’ve seen kratom bans lifted in other states, and we could ultimately see legal kratom in Wisconsin—maybe even as early as this year if current efforts are successful. We will keep you updated on any new developments.
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