Key to the Republican governor’s decision is the lack of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the substance.
In addition, Parson said in his veto message, “Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the FDA may seize food, drugs or dietary substances that contain kratom as being adulterated or misbranded.”
Kratom is a plant grown in Southeast Asia that affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine. It is often used as a dietary supplement for pain relief and a natural alternative to treat opioid withdrawal, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other health conditions.
While there are stores that “sell Kratom in Missouri” - as Kratom Powder, Kratom Capsules and Kratom Extracts — You can also buy kratom online and at convenience stores that sell items that are supposed to be consumed in moderation.
In addition to citing the federal law, Parson said state law already provides protections for proper labeling and packaging under the Missouri Merchandizing Practices Act.
“Further, the FDA has held that there are no FDA-approved uses for kratom and the agency has received numerous concerning reports about the safety of kratom,” Parson added.
The sponsor of the legislation decried Parson’s decision, which was approved in the House and Senate with broad support on both sides of the aisle.
“The Kratom Consumer Protection Act has been enacted in numerous other states in order to provide law enforcement the tools it needs to keep adulterated products off the streets and prohibit sale to minors,” said Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters. “Missourians are less safe as a result of this veto.”
Christofanelli could attempt to override the veto when lawmakers reconvene in September or he could reintroduce the proposal in January.
In early 2019, three people died in the St. Louis region from too much “mitragynine,” a natural substance derived from the leaves of kratom, public health officials found. The findings enraged kratom enthusiasts and owners of stores that have been popping up across the region.
In 2019, St. Charles County approved an ordinance requiring sellers to register online and refrain from selling adulterated or concentrated kratom.
The legislation is House Bill 1667.