The Future of Kratom: New Research Funding in the US

When we post about the future of kratom, we often talk about the importance of research. Research about kratom over the last decade has remained fairly limited. Limitations are caused by a lack of funding as well as the problem of confusing supply streams. Additionally, there is the constantly changing legal situation in the US and other countries to consider when doing research.

Recently, it’s been seen that more kratom research may be funded in order to discover whether kratom may have benefits outside its intended use as a wellness product. With the growing public health crisis in America, it’s great to see kratom being taken more seriously.

And, it’s interesting to see exactly what is being considered. Today, we’ll talk about the December Congress Appropriations Bill, what type of research could be funded, and what that might mean for the future of kratom in America.

What Legislation Was Passed?

Every year, the American government has to set up the fiscal budget for the upcoming year. While this budget is technically due in on October 1st before the new year begins, it often isn’t submitted until well into the new year.

The FY2020 budget, however, was passed in the form of two mini bills in late December. Together, these two legislation packages set up appropriations for the 12 required areas. The bills, H.R. 1865 and H.R. 1158, set the stage for all government-funded agencies and programs for the next year.

Overall, most areas were given budget increases, so this is good science for science, research, and social services going into the future.

New Kratom Legislation

Legislation about kratom was included within these bills, and we are excited about the potential that comes along with this change.

The FY2020 Appropriations Bills passed by Congress specifically mention the need to do more research about natural products that might be able to be used in place of certain approved drugs. In particular, kratom and CBD are mentioned as potential alternatives that need to be studied in greater detail.

The bills list a need for doing more research about kratom to gain a better understanding of both the risks and the potential benefits of developing therapies from this natural substance. This additional research should also cover the details of kratom’s composition.

Overall, Congress suggested that at least $1 million dollars should be provided in research funding particularly to find an alternative to potentially harmful drugs that are currently causing a crisis in America.

Why Is More Research Needed?

You might be wondering why we find this research so important; why does it stand out from all of the other appropriations mentioned?

For us, kratom research is of the utmost importance, and it is something that we want to see happening more as soon as possible. Right now, kratom remains in a precarious position in America. While many states have passed Kratom Consumer Protection Laws to ensure the safety of kratom consumers, other states have passed laws against kratom consumption out of fear.

More research will make it possible for state and local governments to make clear and logical decisions about whether or not kratom should be legal. Organizations like the American Kratom Association do their best to help support kratom research and news, but support is needed on a federal level to make this type of research possible.

Without support from the federal government to do kratom research, it can be difficult for scientists to have access to kratom to be able to study it. This support will make it easier for kratom to be obtained for legal research, and that is sure to make a big difference in the future of kratom in America.

Other Legislation Updates

While the kratom research included in the legislation is very interesting, it certainly wasn’t the only thing that was included in these packets! Much of the fiscal budgeting passed is not directly related to natural substances or our areas of expertise, so we are only going to focus on overviewing the most related areas.

  • Cannabis Research:
    Cannabis came up a number of times throughout the conversations about the budget. In particular, Congress suggested that the National Institute on Drug Abuse do a report about how cannabis is currently being classified on the drug scheduling system.

    Currently, cannabis is still somewhat difficult to study because it is federally classified as a Schedule I substance. This means that scientists cannot always access it if they are using federal funding, so that should change in the future. The change will allow additional studies to be done more freely.
  • Medical Cannabis:
    Congress also included provisions to ensure that the federal government cannot prevent medical marijuana programs from being set up or continued in individual states.
  • Hemp Farming Provisions:
    Politicians took the time and effort to ensure that the process of hemp farming legalization is still going smoothly. The Farming Act of 2018 ensured that the hemp industry would get a boost, but there is still more that can be done to ensure that farmers are getting the support that they need. For FY2020, $16.5 million was set aside for this.

Progress in America

All of these provisions show that there is positive momentum in American politics to decriminalize, legalize, and protect consumers of natural substances. This is the momentum that we love seeing, and we are excited to track this progress as it continues.

To see this kind of change in America, we continue to support organizations like the American Kratom Association that are working to ensure that consumers are protected. Protection is needed to ensure that consumers aren’t at risk for buying tainted goods and also to make sure they aren’t at risk of prosecution.

Overall, we are excited about the progress happening in America in regards to natural products, and we can’t wait to see what else happens!

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