Kratom in Castle Rock
Maintaining Castle Rock’s safety and community character is a top priority. With that in mind, Town staff has been researching kratom within the community. Kratom is an unregulated herbal substance found in the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree. Those leaves can be made into a tea, chewed or made into a capsule. The active ingredients in kratom have effects similar to an amphetamine and have been used for various purposes such as pain relief. Currently, there are several businesses in Town that sell kratom. The Town in fall 2018 received an inquiry about a possible kratom bar. This kratom bar would be similar to a coffee shop or café. Now, the Town is taking a proactive look at kratom and potential businesses in Town.Town Council in December 2018 approved an ordinance to provide a temporary suspension on the establishment of new businesses related to kratom sales. This ordinance has allowed Town staff the opportunity to further survey and collaborate with both the kratom industry and regulatory agencies to identify, and potentially regulate, kratom sales within the Town.
Currently, many federal agencies, including the FDA and DEA, are studying kratom due to concerns about potential abuse, quality control and marketing practices. Potential regulations that could be considered include age restrictions and limitations of onsite consumption.
What does this ordinance mean?
Town Council on Dec. 18 approved an ordinance to provide a temporary suspension on the establishment of new businesses related to kratom sales. 18. It’s important to note, this ordinance does not change any current laws or regulations related to kratom, and does not impact the sale, consumption or possession of kratom. This ordinance only impacts new licenses for potential kratom businesses in Castle Rock.
Because of the potential risk to public safety, the ordinance was adopted on an emergency first and final reading. This ordinance allows Town staff 180 days to further survey and collaborate with both the kratom industry and regulatory agencies to identify, and potentially regulate, kratom sales within the Town.
Watch the Town Council discussion.
Process to date
Town Council imposed a 180-day suspension on the establishment of new kratom consumption businesses. This gives Town staff the opportunity to proactively survey kratom as it relates to public health, welfare and safety. Town staff has collaborated with both the kratom industry and regulatory agencies to survey and discuss potential kratom regulations. As part of that process, the Town provided opportunities for community feedback:
Castle Rock Kratom Regulation Review and Advisory RoundtableThis meeting was held Feb. 22. Watch a video recording of the meeting, which featured presentations from:
- American Kratom Assoc.
- Kratom Trade Assoc.
- K Chill
- Smoker Friendly
- Douglas County Coroner
- Tri County Health
- Castle Rock Police Department
Public open house regarding potential kratom regulation for minors
Town staff has collected public feedback on a potential local regulation related to kratom that's likely to be presented to Town Council. Staff sought public input on the potential regulation online, and at an April open house:
The potential regulation would restrict kratom sales to individuals under the age of 18. It would in no way criminalize the possession nor consumption of kratom for any age group.
Instead, the proposed regulation would require businesses selling kratom to ensure a customer is at least 18 years old, similar to the existing requirement for tobacco products. The potential regulation would provide penalties for any business selling kratom to a person under age 18.
The proposed restriction has received unanimous support from the national kratom organizations and local businesses that participated in the Kratom Regulation Review and Advisory Roundtable. Town Council has not yet weighed in on the potential regulation, nor any other potential regulations it may wish to enact surrounding kratom in Castle Rock. That step is expected to come next.
What's next?Town Council will discuss the proposed regulation to restrict kratom sales to individuals under the age of 18 at its May 21 meeting:
6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21
Council Chambers at Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St.