Friday, August 19

Lawmakers hear testimony from advocates, critics of kratom

FRANKFORT — A plant commonly known as kratom, which can lead to stimulant or sedative effects, spurred discussion among legislators Wednesday during a meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Health, Welfare, and Family Services.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), kratom and kratom-based products are now legal and obtainable in the United States, but international agencies are still gathering information about them.

During the 2022 legislative session, Rep. Josh Calloway, R-Irvington, sponsored House Bill 569, which would have prohibited a kratom processor or kratom retailer from dispensing, selling or distributing any kratom extract or kratom product to anyone under 21 years of age.

HB 569 did not pass this year, but Calloway told committee members that kratom use in Kentucky needs to be addressed due to safety concerns.

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