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Lately, the American Kratom Association, an American pro-kratom organization, has been occupied with passing its Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA) in as many states as possible. The bill seeks to protect kratom consumers by introducing kratom product quality standards, and state legislators have been receptive. So far, versions of the KCPA have passed in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Georgia.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered legislative sessions and sidelined the AKA’s largest effort: a federal KCPA that would protect kratom consumers nationwide. In response, the organization’s Senior Fellow on Public Policy, Mac Haddow, announced in a recent video that the AKA is focusing its efforts elsewhere for the time being.

For now, Haddow said that he’s actively working to educate legislators in other states, including Rhode Island, Michigan, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Although the AKA’s efforts have been stymied by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the past, Haddow remains optimistic: “We’re hopeful that [the new FDA] Commissioner Hahn will not have the bias that former Commissioner Gottlieb had, and will listen to us.”

The AKA is also developing plans for an LD50 Study, which would seek to determine the toxicity of kratom and outline a safe level of kratom for consumers. Haddow hopes that the study’s conclusions will challenge the FDA’s “inaccurate and … incorrect information that they’re disseminating about the safety profile of kratom.” The AKA will also challenge mainstream narratives about kratom through a “Kratom Saves Lives” video advertisement campaign. According to Haddow, the ads will highlight the “passionate stories of kratom consumers” and showcase how the plant is benefiting many Americans.

But aside from legislative and advocacy efforts, the AKA also hopes to broaden consumer access to kratom. Following a successful initiative to reintroduce kratom products to Shell Oil convenience stores, Haddow announced that the AKA is negotiating with Marathon Petro and other similar companies to unban kratom products from hundreds of national stores. “We want that to be a precedent-setting event, and we’re working hard to get it done,” said Haddow.

Finally, the AKA is organizing a “Kratom Consumer Council” to advise policymakers about the plant’s uses. Haddow stated that the KCC will be active in 435 congressional districts and all 50 states. The Council’s efforts will include training videos and “leave-behind” documents.

“We want to educate these policymakers about the real science of kratom, about its safety, and how it is effectively working as an alternative pain management therapy [to] opioids, which we know have a very deadly safety profile,” said Haddow.

To learn more about the American Kratom Association and their new initiatives, visit them at AmericanKratom.org.