By way of background, kratom (Mitragyna speciosa (Korth.) Havil.) is a tropical tree with opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects, and was previously controlled under the Narcotics Act due to these properties and effects.
On 26 May 2021, the Amendment to the Narcotics Act (the “Amendment“) was published in the Government Gazette. The Amendment, once effective after 90 days from its publication, will remove kratom from being Category V Narcotics. The rationale behind this Amendment is to make the regulation of kratom in line with the position of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as amended, and the local customs in some areas where kratom is consumed.
Following the removal of kratom from the list of Category V Narcotics, on 1 June 2021, the Cabinet approved the amended draft of the Kratom Act to be considered for presentation to the Parliament. The draft Kratom Act is expected to include specific regulations on kratom, including growing/manufacturing, sale, import and export of kratom for industrial purposes and related licensing requirements and penalties for violation of the law.
We are monitoring the developments in this area and will keep you informed.