If you’re into alternative medicine or have been scouting around for the best herbal extracts for common medical ailments, you must have stumbled upon several publications recommending kratom. Botanically known as Mitragyna speciosa, kratom is a tree in the coffee family native to Southeast Asia, which is thought to contain immense healing properties.
In countries where kratom grows natively, such as Thailand and Indonesia, locals have used various extracts from the plant to treat issues like pain, fatigue, anxiety, and erectile dysfunction (ED) from at least the mid-19th century. Emerging scientific research indicates that the herb may contain even more therapeutic properties than it was traditionally credited for.
Unfortunately, kratom remains illegal and highly regulated in many countries worldwide. If you’re in Canada and wish to get your hands on this novelty herb, knowing what the law says before hitting the stores is imperative.
Read below for the seven things you must know about kratom’s legal status in Canada.
- Kratom Is Not Criminally Prohibited In Canada
The most important thing to know about kratom Canada legal is that the herb isn’t criminally prohibited. In other words, there are no express legislative or judicial decrees outlawing kratom possession, use, or distribution within Canadian borders.
The implication is that you cannot get arrested by law enforcement authorities and formally charged for being in possession of kratom products.
Canada has one of the most permissive and rapidly-expanding kratom legal landscapes worldwide. Not only has the herb been legal in the country for years. There were no regulations around it before 2021.
- Kratom Is Legal Throughout Canada
Canada is administratively split into ten provinces and three territories. These administrative units usually outline guidelines for enforcing certain federal policies and regulations. For instance, cannabis is federally legal in Canada. But each state has specific requirements on the minimum age of marijuana users and the number of weed plants a household can grow.
When it comes to kratom, the principles of territorial jurisdiction do not apply. The herb is legal throughout all ten provinces and three territories. That’s great news for on-the-go users as they can comfortably move across the country with kratom-infused products.
- Kratom Is, However, Regulated
Kratom may be legal across all Canadian provinces and territories. But that’s not to mean it isn’t regulated. While kratom isn’t federally criminalized, there are clear guidelines on what you can and cannot do with the herb.
Regulations stipulate that kratom extracts are legal for personal use and possession only. You won’t run into trouble with law enforcement if you can prove that the kratom in your possession is intended for personal consumption. That’s regardless of the quantity or formulation.
However, it’s illegal to sell, distribute, or engage in any other activity involving kratom. The implication is that the law is a little lenient to kratom users but more stringent on traders and distributors.
- Kratom Cannot Be Sold As a Consumable Product.
Another aspect of kratom’s regulation in Canada pertains to the specific formulations in which the product comes. Note that users can consume kratom in any form or amount. The restrictions are on traders.
Although Canada prohibits the sale of kratom, traders have found a way to bypass the legal grey areas surrounding the herb. That explains the steady increase in the number of kratom vendors.
But in the interest of protecting consumers, regulators outline the formulation in which kratom supplements must be sold. It’s illegal to sell the herb as an edible product. That means powders, capsules, and herbal teas are out of the question.
As a trader, it would be best to consider other kratom formulations like aromatherapy products, vape juices, and topicals. Also, include cautionary statements like ‘Not for Human Consumption’ on your packaging materials.
- Kratom Importation/Exportation Is Probably Legal
Canadian laws are silent on the legality of kratom importation and exportation. So, we can only hypothesize in this case. Canadian traders may import kratom products with a ‘not for human consumption’ caution. Most importantly, the imports must be from a country where the herb is legal.
As an aspiring kratom exporter, obtaining all the required permits would be best before setting up your business.
- Kratom Regulation Falls under the Ambits of Health Canada
Health Canada is the Canadian department responsible for national health policy. The department’s mandate also entails regulating other federal health-related agencies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Health Canada works to enforce compliance with federal laws in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and healthcare sectors. It ensures that agricultural and pharmaceutical products available to the Canadian mass market are effective and safe for consumption.
Now, Health Canada has taken issue with kratom’s potential adverse effects, including hallucination and liver damage. That’s why it outlawed the sale of consumable kratom supplements.
- Kratom Laws May Remain Unchanged For a While
The future of kratom’s legality in Canada looks bullish. That’s because we’ve not recently seen any significant clamors to ban the herb. However, there’s no telling what Health Canada and other regulators may come up with regarding kratom usage.
Therefore, industry stakeholders are advised to keep abreast of all emerging trends and regulations.
Kratom exists in a legal grey area in Canada. While users can freely consume the herb, aspiring traders must adhere to Health Canada’s regulations to avoid possible penalties.