Ohio Board of Pharmacy delays decision on a proposal to classify Kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance

10 August 2019
Ohio Board of Pharmacy delays decision on a proposal to classify Kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance

COLUMBUS, Ohio – State regulators have delayed action to ban kratom after hundreds of people came here Friday in support of the herbal supplement.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy planned to advance the ban on Monday. But a board spokesman said Friday afternoon that has been delayed so the board can review extensive testimony presented during a Friday public hearing. At least 92 people were expected to testify in opposition to the board's proposal.

Many of them said they have quit opiate addictions with the help of kratom, an herbal supplement typically taken as a powder or tea.

Meanwhile, Ohio lawmakers could decide to regulate the supplement instead of ban it. Rep. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, told The Enquirer he's filing a bill to regulate kratom based on regulations passed in Utah.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has been working through the process to make kratom a Schedule I controlled substance since last September. The board planned to send the proposed change to the final stage in the process on Monday but now will wait until after the board's September meeting.

"This will give the Board time to review all testimony at its September meeting and assess potential new legislation that was introduced on the matter," spokesman Cameron McNamee said in a statement.

Hundreds of people showed up Friday for a public hearing held by the Board of Pharmacy, but they were disappointed when only the director was there to hear them.

Matthew Mongold has had three open heart surgeries. Due to fears of addiction, he used prescription opioids sparingly, leaving him in constant pail, causing him to miss time with his family.

“Being a part of my kid’s life is important to me so I mean, it killed me not to be able to attend stuff,”? said Mongold.

He says that all changed when he found Kratom. He was once again able to attend his son’s football games, pain free. He was one of many to share stories at the public hearing.

“Honestly it’s sad and pretty pathetic that our government, or the pharmacy board would be pushing so hard to ban it and it doesn’t make any sense,”? said Mongold.

Late in the day, we received word that a decision was made to place the proposed rule to classify Kratom as a controlled substance on hold to give it more time for consideration.

A bill to regulate Kratom’s use will also be introduced at the statehouse in the near future.


The American Kratom Associated released the following statement:


The American Kratom Association is deeply grateful to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy for listening to the pleas of the hundreds of Ohioans who provided testimony at the Public Hearing today, and responding to the thousands of email testimony provided by those who could not attend the Hearing in person. The decision to put this proposed ban on kratom in the “To Be Refiled” status will provide the opportunity for the Ohio Legislature to consider the Kratom Consumer Protection Act that Representative Gary Scherer intends to file in the coming week.  That legislation protects consumers and provides an appropriate regulatory framework to ban adulterated and mislabeled kratom products that are responsible for the deaths and adverse health impacts from using kratom laced with dangerous chemicals and opioids.  The AKA will work closely with the Board of Pharmacy and the Ohio Legislature to enact these regulatory scheme to protect consumers.  Utah, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada have already enacted the Kratom Consumer Protection Act, and it is being considered in another dozen states currently. Our deepest appreciation to policy makers in Ohio who listened, understood, and stood with Ohio residents to allow consumers to use this plant for their health and well-being.


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