Monday, July 22

Advocates decry Ohio pharmacy board vote to ban kratom

A group that advocates for consumer access to the herbal supplement kratom says the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy erred in approving a proposal to ban the product that has been touted as way to fight the opioid epidemic.

The board on Wednesday voted to approve its proposal to classify the Southeast Asian herb as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, which would place it in the same class as heroin, LSD and other illegal drugs. It now faces review by two other government bodies.

The board was not swayed by scientific studies that the association presented refuting U.S. Food and Drug Administration findings, said C.M. Haddow, a public policy fellow at the Virginia-based American Kratom Association. Opposed to bans, the association is lobbying in Ohio and elsewhere for laws that would make the product illegal for minors, require labeling and regulate for quality and purity.

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