Is Kratom Legal In California State? Year 2023

Many Californian residents often look up on the web searching the legality of kratom in the state. It is very difficult to find accurate information since the legal status may change depending on state laws.

Seeing the history of the legality of other botanicals in the state, one may assume that Californian officials have a laid-back view of kratom. However, it is not completely accurate since there are two cities in California that have banned kratom. 

Are you interested in knowing if is kratom legal in California,  completely? You are in luck because this post is all you need to know about the legal status of this South Asian herb in California.

What Is The Current Legal Status Of Kratom In California?

At the time of writing, the answer to the question is kratom legal in California is yes.  Kratom is legal but not regulated in California. It is, however, banned in two of the major cities, San Diego and Oceanside.  It is actually laughable how the residents of the previously mentioned cities are subjected to punishment if they are found with kratom within the boundaries of their areas. Still, they can leisurely enjoy kratom when they move to head a few miles.

The contrasting legal status of kratom in California makes it highly confusing for consumers. That is why many consumers make the innocent mistake of possessing the herb in the wrong place due to a lack of knowledge. However, you can avoid this embarrassment if you educate yourself about the legal status of kratom in California in different cities and overall.

In 2016 there was a wave of kratom bans because  US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) moved to ban kratom at the federal level on the recommendations of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Though DEA did not take any action against it since HHS withdrew its recommendation on the basis of lack of proof against kratom, several states passed state laws to ban the herb. Diego and Oceanside banned kratom once and for all. 

so now that you have an understanding and a clear answer to the question is kratom legal in California let us move forward.

What Led To A Kratom Ban In San Diego City?

In mid-June 2016, the authorities of San Diego city passed an ordinance banning the possession ales, possession, and distribution of various psychoactive substances.

Kratom was also on the list of these substances. The approved ordinance prohibits the residents of San Diego from buying, manufacturing, selling, and possessing kratom.

The other substances listed with kratom include synthetic substances such as spice (synthetic cannabinoids) and bath salts (synthetic cathinones). The major reason behind the ban was the concern regarding the safety of buying and selling kratom.

In addition to that, according to San Diego media outlets, there have been around 100 calls to poison centers across the state mentioning kratom one way or the other in the span of 4 years.

Another point that aggravated the concerns is that medical examiners found kratom somehow in the death reports of 11 people. Though there were other addictive drugs too in the reports media especially highlighted kratom.

In defense, various consumers and kratom lawyers called these claims nothing but exaggeration with no solid proof that the deaths were in any way solely related to kratom.

Unfortunately, their support couldn’t save the herb from a ban in the city, and today kratom is classified as a Schedule I drug in the city.

The ordinance classifies kratom as a harmful psychoactive substance rather than its actual identity as a herb.

Whereas all other Schedule I substances have high abuse potential and absolutely no medical uses, kratom is a different case. According to its consumers, kratom in no way belongs to this classification, and the ordinance is mere injustice.

The Californian officials did not put any ear to them, and today kratom is banned in the state.  So the answer to the question is kratom available in California? is, unfortunately, no, because of these bans.

What To Know About The Kratom Ban In Oceanside, California?

Following the footsteps of another city, Oceanside, around the same time banned kratom. Here again, the officials listed kratom among the 94 novel psychotic substances that have high abuse potential.Kratom Powder for sale on GRH Kratom

According to the ordinance approved in Oceanside, it is illegal to buy, sell, manufacture, and possess kratom within the limits of the city.

However, residents here called it off-limit and unfair to categorize kratom among synthetic substances. In contrast, it is a natural herb extracted from the leaves and sometimes the whole plant Migyryan speciosa.

The major problem with Oceanside is that you cannot even buy the herb online. Whether the vendor you are buying from is not based in the city, you still can’t ship the herb to the city.

According to consumers, there are still many companies operating against the law.  Kratom advocates never advise buying from them because if they are willing to go against the law, how one can make sure that they are not selling adulterated products?

What Is The Future Of Kratom In San Diego County?

Presently, kratom is banned in San Diego city but not in San Diego county. However, there are serious concerns that the county may ban it anytime soon. It is because the county has already declared kratom a public nuisance.

This happened in 2020 when San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office said that mitragynine, kratom’s active ingredient, was associated with 10 deaths between 2014 and 2018.

However, later on, a county house held a public hearing in February same year. As a result of the hearing, the county supervisors had to stop proceeding further due to a lack of information and enough evidence against the herb.

Though the county officials surely wanted to ban kratom in their next after this, the public hearing came in the way, and they’re still hasn’t been any ban on the herb.

How To Choose An Ideal Kratom Vendor In California?

Now you don’t have to search “can you grow kratom in California”. because here is a way to select the ideal strains and won’t have to worry about the quality. You can buy, sell, and possess kratom in California as long as you are outside Oceanside and San Diego. It is important to understand that even if you buy kratom from outside, you are still not allowed to bring it inside the cities’ limits where it is banned.

Therefore in order to consume kratom legally, you will have to move out of these cities. Nevertheless, if you are already outside these cities, here are some tips for choosing your vendor.

Lab test Reports

The fact that not all kratom vendors provide lab-tested products speaks a lot about the quality of their products. Experienced kratom consumers always suggest buying the herb from a vendor that issues a third-party lab report. It is, therefore, a very decisive factor when it comes to choosing a vendor. It has been found various times that strains that haven’t been lab-tested may cause medical complications or may have synthetic compounds.


Freshly Imported Kratom Varieties

Vendors in the US have tried to manufacture kratom on artificial farms. Still, it is not comparable to the indigenous kratom produced in South Asia. As the plant grows best in humid conditions, the consumers often prefer vendors that import the herb from its homeland.

Reasonable prices

You can still get quality kratom products at reasonable prices if you choose the right vendor. When choosing a vendor, you should always first check for the above two factors and then the price.

After shortlisting vendors that provide lab test reports and offer natural products, compare the prices and get in contact with the ones that offer reliable and consistent customer support.

Free Samples

There are numerous consistent and reliable vendors that do not hesitate to offer free samples on every purchase. This is a cherry on top since you can always test new strains before buying them in bulk. Therefore if you see a vendor offering free samples, there is no harm in giving them a shot.

Where To Get The Best Kratom Strains In California?

Consumers commonly search, where to buy kratom in California. Now that you know the key characteristics of the right kratom vendor choosing one may not be a big deal. But again, you have two options: online and offline or physical vendors.

Many consumers prefer online vendors because kratom is legal in California, according to them, it is safer and preserves anonymity. Despite so much research, kratom is a contentious herb, and people look down upon consumers for using or buying it.

Therefore it becomes easier to buy online than from stores. In addition to that, physical stores do not offer much variety. It is because since they have to import the herb, they only stock strains that sell quickly. Even then, most of their stock stays untouched on shelves.

Commonly kratom is available along with vapes or smoking accessories. The sellers are not well-equipped to guide you about dosage or effects. On top of all, there are hardly any physical stores that provide lab test reports stating the ingredients and date of expiry.

When buying online, you can enjoy the luxury of choosing your favorite strains, consulting customer support for guidelines and discussion, and above all, lower prices.

Here Is A List Of The Most Popular Offline Vendors In California:

  • Cali Botanicals, located in Rancho Cordova, CA,
  • Bumble Bee Botanicals has stores in numerous locations, including San Diego and San Francisco
  • Up In Smoke has stores in two locations, one in Newport Beach and one in Costa Mesa
  • Los Feliz Smoke Shop located in Los Angeles

Bottom Line

Currently, kratom is legal in California except for San Diego and Oceanside city. Though it is legal in San Diego county, many say that there is a potential threat of the kratom ban in the county.

Therefore, one should always stay updated. This will make sure that the residents are not inadvertently violating the law.

When buying offline or online, it is important to verify if the vendor abides by the principles of the American Kratom Association and has been certified by the organization. Do not buy any products that are not lab-tested or are not labeled.



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