Kratom has been illegal in Thailand since 1943, and not for the reasons that people may think. Thailand’s government actually made Kratom illegal because Kratom was competing with the Opium market, resulting in declining Opium revenues. Since the government controlled the Opium market, they made Kratom illegal to increase Opium revenues.
However, Thailand is moving closer to legalizing Kratom nationwide, and proposed legislation which would remove Kratom from the list of narcotics has advanced another step. In March the Cabinet of Thailand approved the legislation ‘in principle’, and now the legislation has been approved by the government’s legal arm, The Council of State, and is being sent back to the Cabinet for endorsement before being voted on in the Parliament.
It would be excellent news if Thailand legalizes Kratom, since Thailand is one of the biggest Kratom growing regions, and if Indonesia bans Kratom on New Year’s Day 2022, then Thailand would offset some of the loss of supply from Indonesia. However, Kratom prices would still rise sharply if such a scenario unfolds, but at least there would be a source of fresh Kratom.
That being said, there is no guarantee that Thailand will legalize Kratom, it is just a probability. It remains to be seen what happens when this legislation reaches the Parliament.
Further, for now anyone found in possession of Kratom in Thailand is being arrested, and Kratom-related arrests are happening all the time.
The definitive good news is that in the meantime the government of Thailand is launching a pilot program in 135 villages across 10 provinces, where Kratom will be grown for medicinal and research purposes. This is big news, since this is the first time since the Kratom Act of 1943 that it will be legal to grow Kratom anywhere in Thailand.
On a final note, the Kratom growing pilot program isn’t a law just yet, but the legislation has been drafted up and will be discussed in public hearings in just 1-2 weeks, and then it will be sent to the Cabinet for approval. Overall, it seems this Kratom growing pilot program will launch much faster than the nationwide legalization initiative.