Congress Update: New Kratom Research Funding In Appropriations Bill

As someone that uses Kratom in the US, it’s good to be informed about what the current laws are, but it is also important to be familiar with what the future of the kratom industry could look like. You might already know that kratom has a contemptuous history with national organizations such as the USDA, but do you know anything more specific about the future of kratom in America?

One of the most important things to pay attention to at this time is new research. It is unlikely that sweeping kratom reform will happen without new research, and new kratom research funding doesn’t show up very frequently.

At the end of December 2019, however, kratom was included alongside other substances, such as cannabidiol, in an appropriations bill provision. What does this mean, and how will it affect the overall kratom industry? Let’s take a closer look.

What Legislation Was Passed?

In December 2020, the House came together to pass two separate legislation packages. Together, these packages detail what the 2020 fiscal year funding will look like. Their packages were very overarching and covered a huge variety of different topics in the twelve areas typically covered in funding bills.

Once the legislation made it through the Senate and was signed into law by the President, some of the marijuana sections were reduced, but the overall package was still signed into effect. A variety of statements and provisions about CBD, hemp, marijuana and even kratom were included in the final versions of these packages.

What Was Said About Kratom?

While nothing about the legality or use scheduling for kratom was mentioned in these plans, kratom did come up.

Specifically, all parties agreed that there should be at least $1 million dollars of research funding given out to research both kratom and CBD. The specific research called for is to investigate whether or not these substances could be formed into alternatives to opioids.

This research funding is being granted because many preliminary studies have shown that kratom and CBD may be capable of relief from opioid addiction symptoms. There are also some preliminary studies that show that kratom, in particular, might be used to create an alternative type of pain relief altogether.

Why Was This Research Included?

Politicians and advisors that worked on these provisions want to include them because there are many natural substances that have not yet been thoroughly researched as potential opioid alternatives.

Kratom, in particular, has not been given very much of a chance to be considered in this way, so it would be great to see if any positive momentum could be given in this area. Politicians thus determined that devoting at least $1,000,000 to research about kratom and cannabidiol as alternatives to opioids in the name of working on the opioid crisis is a good choice.

Why Does This Provision Matter?

When we talk about the current legal status of kratom in America, we often mention that more research needs to be done before true progress can be made. This still remains true, and including potential kratom research in a government-run fiscal bill is a great state.

Even though the research that is to be included is specifically about formulating opioid alternatives, any research about kratom is a good start. Research into how kratom works, what effects it has, and everything else about it can help to ensure that kratom can be considered more fairly going forward.

On the road to full legalization, it is important to have as many supporting studies and evidence as possible in order to show the safety and positive potential effects of kratom.

We fully support organizations such as the American Kratom Association that work to make kratom legally protected, and we also support more research being done about kratom to ensure its future status in America.

Other Key Points of Interest

Kratom wasn’t the only interesting topic included in the provisions; here are a few more important points that were included in the new legislation that may be of interest. As the attitude towards all previously-scheduled substances like CBD and marijuana changes in America, we can more easily envision what the future of kratom could look like here, too.

Further Research Into Cannabis And More

One thing that all parties and houses agreed on through the conversations about the fiscal bills for next year was that more research needs to be done about cannabis. Specifically, the following direction was given to the National Institute on Drug Abuse: “provide a brief report on the barriers to research that result from the classification of drugs and compounds as Schedule I substances.”

In short, the House and Senate want to ensure that it is possible for research to be done about cannabis. It’s been clear that marijuana remaining a Schedule I drug has made it difficult to study it as there are more hoops to jump through in order to get permission to do so.

In another section, additional research into the structure and effects of both cannabidiol and cannabigerol, cannabinoids other than CBD that are found in cannabis.

Complete Hemp Legalization

Another area that has caught the attention of politicians is the need to ensure that the full legalization of hemp farming for industrial purposes has been completely and effectively implemented. There are still some loose ends written in the law, so it is time for these to be erased.

In particular, they want to ensure that the Farming Act of 2018 is followed through on. They set aside $16.5 million to be given to hemp farmers to ensure their security and certainty in continuing the domestic hemp market. This market was once flourishing in America, and the government would like to encourage this industry to return to its former economic strength.

Continued Medical Cannabis

The provisions also include details that ensure that the Department of Justice won’t be able to block any medical cannabis programs in individual states if they have already been incorporated into federal law.

One major exception, however, remains in that Washington D.C. continues to be blocked from using its tax dollars to set up recreational, legal marijuana sales.

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