Starting today, psychoactive folk remedy ‘kratom’ is legal to grow, sell

Photo: Research and Development Office of Prince of Songkhla University
Photo: Research and Development Office of Prince of Songkhla University

Starting today, people in Thailand can legally grow and sell the psychoactive folk remedy known as kratom. 

Eyed as a new cash crop next to cannabis, kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, can now be legally grown in a household or sold commercially. However, those who want to process the plant into other products must get approval from the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. 

Selling kratom to children and pregnant women will still be prohibited. 

Mixing kratom leaves with other drug substances is also not allowed. This means those who would like to make the “4×100” cocktail consisting of kratom leaves, codeine- or diphenhydramine- cough syrup and Coca-Cola soft drink cannot do so legally. 

Over 1,000 people who have been jailed over kratom-related drug offences will be released.

Kratom was formerly listed as a Class 5 narcotic before the House of Representatives earlier this year gave a green light to removing kratom from the list of controlled substances, opening the door to a new cash crop for farmers.

Tens of thousands of cases annually involve prosecution of kratom users, who have long used it as a folk remedy. Kratom combines opioid-like properties and all the fun of a stimulant. Consumption for medical purposes became legal along with cannabis in early 2019.


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