Thailand is gearing up to legalize medicinal kratom for the first time since 1979. But the country's Justice Ministry has been working to ensure that once the plant is legal, it isn't abused.
Their efforts came to fruition with the approval of a new kratom bill on Monday, October 12th. The bill introduces various laws that could help smooth kratom's legal transition by protecting Thai citizens.
For starters, the bill prevents the sale of kratom to pregnant women and youth. Although research on kratom's effects on youth and pregnant women is inconclusive, both groups could be more susceptible to the plant's negative side effects. As a result, the measure is likely preventative.
The bill also bars Thai kratom vendors from advertising their kratom products. Those that violate this condition will be met with hefty penalties, including six months of jail time and a 500,000 baht fine.
Finally, the bill would also allow Thailand's Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) to sanction the production, import, and export of medicinal kratom products.
Although Thailand cabinet members have approved the bill, Thailand's Office of the Council of State (OCS) must also approve the bill before it becomes law. More updates are expected to follow.