With its new Kratom Consumer Protection Act, the Arizona State Legislature is the latest state to take legislative action. The plant, whose leaves are used for pain-relief, is often marketed as an herbal remedy or dietary supplement. However, growing concerns have prompted federal regulatory agencies to issue strong warnings about the its risks. Now, legislators across the country are taking a stand in favor of tighter regulations of kratom sales.
Arizona Governor Signs Kratom Consumer Protection Act
This April, Arizona joined a handful of states that have taken decisive action against kratom. Governor Doug Ducey signed into law the new bill called the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, after it was unanimously passed by both chambers of the state legislature. Before this, only six other states adopted legislation controlling the use and sale of the herb – Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Vermont – as well as select counties and cities across the country. However, while other states decided to completely outlaw kratom, Arizona is the first to take a moderate approach by simply regulating its sale.
While the new bill doesn’t prohibit the sale of kratom, there is no doubt that state authorities feel strongly about it and treat its risks seriously. In his letter to the Secretary of State, Ducey noted that even though Arizona’s new law regulates its availability to minors, the bill’s passage should by no means be viewed as his “endorsement of its consumption by adults.” He writes,”…there is ample evidence to suggest that this product is potentially addictive, dangerous, and in some cases deadly.” The governor also expressed his support for regulation on a federal level, adding that he will be “writing to our federal partner agencies and strongly urging them to take a closer look at this product and promptly issues appropriate regulations.”
How the New Law Will Affect Kratom Sales in Arizona
The restrictions imposed by Arizona’s new bill on the marketing and sale of the substance are two-fold. First, the new law prohibits the sale of kratom to individuals under 18. In fact, the Act explicitly states that a dealer may not even expose minors to related products for a sale. The law makes any such acts a class two misdemeanor which is punishable in Arizona with up to four months in jail and fines reaching $750.
Second, the act introduces new labeling requirements for all kratom-based products sold in Arizona. Sellers and distributors will now have to disclose the complete make-up of any kratom product they merchandise. Previously, neither the manufacturers nor the distributors had to notify consumers when products contained kratom, which may have contributed to an increased overdose risk.
Is Kratom Really Dangerous?
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked kratom to 152 deaths over the span of 17 months. In 91 of those cases, the substance was the direct cause of death. These findings are concerning, marking a sharp increase from a February 2018 statement by the FDA that cited only 44 related deaths. The increase suggests that abuse of the substance is becoming a growing nationwide problem.
For a few years now, federal regulatory agencies have issued warnings about kratom. In 2017, the FDA said the substance “affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine” and “appears to have properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and dependence.” A year earlier, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considered classifying it as a Schedule I controlled substance – a category that includes heavy drugs such as heroin or LSD. However, talks of the new classification were halted after they received push back from the public.
Can You Claim Damages for Kratom-related Injuries?
Those who have suffered dangerous side-effects related to kratom use may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. Under product liability laws, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can be held accountable for injuries and losses related to a product if no proper warning was given to the consumer.
The Oshman Firm’s personal injury attorneys are currently evaluating claims related to adverse effects caused by kratom, including unintentional overdose deaths. We are sympathetic towards families who have lost a loved one. Close family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against a manufacturer on behalf of a deceased relative. Doing so can provide financial compensation to cover funeral expenses as well as loss of consortium
If you feel you may qualify to introduce an injury claim against a kratom manufacturer, either in relation to your own injuries or on behalf of a family member, please contact us today by using the form on our website or calling us at (800) 400-8182. Your call is free, private and without obligation.
To learn more, you can also visit our kratom lawsuit page.