The government of Thailand announced May 26th in the Thai Royal Government Gazette that kratom will be taken off the list of banned narcotics. This is expected to go in effect on August 24th. Growing kratom remains restricted until regulations are set in place with what could eventually become a new kratom industry.
A new so-called “Kratom Law” will flesh out how the plant is allowed to be consumed, according to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin. The proposed legislation has been approved by the Council of State and is waiting for the Justice Ministry to forward a proposal to the Cabinet.Arthur, Jack. (2021). “Kratom to be taken off Thailand’s list of narcotics”. The Thaiger. https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/drugs/kratom-to-be-taken-off-thailands-list-of-narcotics
In December 2019,Thailand’s Justice Minister Somsak Thapsutin announced that his ministry no longer considers kratom a narcotic and had planned to legalize it. COVID delayed plans to enact legalization in 2020.
Despite kratom being used as a traditional medicinal in Thailand, it has been illegal there since 1943 with the passage of the Kratom Act. At the time, the Thai government was collecting large sums of tax revenue from opium vendors and wanted to thwart competition from kratom.
A particularly oppressive drug enforcement culture ensued. The Thai government started to reconsider laws against kratom, cannabis, and psilocybin mushrooms around 2010. In 2017, the government legalized traditional consumption of kratom for residents of a small area called Nam Phu Subdistrict, Ban Na San District, Surat Thani Province.
Citizens who have been arrested but not yet convicted for kratom related crimes will be absolved in a process that is ongoing, according to Phucket News.