Kratom law sets hefty fines for abuse of decriminalised plant


A new law to regulate decriminalised kratom comes into force today (August 27) following its publication in the Royal Gazette on Friday.

The law covers not only kratom leaves but also beverages obtained from boiling leaves and extracts of the plant, said government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek.

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. Its leaves have opioid properties and are used as a mild stimulant and painkiller.

The Kratom Plant Act of 2022 decriminalises kratom leaves and removes them from the list of narcotics.

The law allows the possession, consumption and use of kratom leaves. However, it places restrictions on the sale, marketing and advertising of leaves and on blending them with other psychotropic substances. Official permission is required to import or export the leaves.

Rachada said the new legislation requires that relevant state agencies encourage people to grow and process kratom for use in their communities and development as an economic crop.

“The government’s policy is to turn kratom into an economic crop and push for its medical use to create incomes for farmers,” she said.

She added that the law aims to prevent overuse and consumption of kratom by vulnerable people.

Anyone caught selling kratom leaves and products to children under 18, pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers faces a fine of up to 30,000 baht.

The sale of kratom is forbidden at educational institutions, dormitories, public parks, zoos and amusement parks, as well as from vending machines. Violators risk a maximum fine of 50,000 baht.

Import or export of kratom leaves without permission is penalised with a maximum of one year in jail and/or a fine of up to 100,000 baht.

The law also bans the advertising of kratom leaves or leaves mixed with psychotropic substances for recreational purposes. Violators face a maximum two-year sentence and/or a fine of up to 200,000 baht.