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Environmental Health Announces New Product Labeling and Manufacturing Requirements for Kratom Products

Health department lifts holds with additional public health controls in place

On Friday, Denver’s Department of Environmental Health announced the department will be lifting the ban on sales of kratom products in Denver.  Denver issued a ban and consumer advisory last month following the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) announcement of its position that kratom presented an imminent public health hazard and belief that several deaths had been linked to the product.  Because of this, the DEA also announced its intent to place the active materials in the kratom plant into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in order to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety.  

Last week, the DEA announced that it was withdrawing its intent to place kratom into Schedule I so that more information can be gathered.  Given this change in the DEA’s beliefs about safety concerns, DEH is contacting Denver businesses to lift the ban on sales of kratom products but remains concerned about the public health risks of kratom. To help address these concerns, DEH is requiring the following measures be taken:

  • A consumer advisory is on all applicable menus for kratom products served for on-site consumption in Denver stores;
  • A consumer advisory is affixed to all kratom products intended for offsite consumption that are sold in Denver stores;
  • Labeling is affixed to products intended for offsite consumption to identify the product (e.g. ground kratom leaf) as well as the packager/ manufacturer;
  • Kratom products must be handled in a manner to prevent contamination from poor personal hygiene, unclean equipment, toxic chemicals such as cleaners, and other sources of contamination. 

Kratom is often marketed for non-consumptive use, such as for air freshening; however it is widely promoted as a legal alternative to controlled substances due to its purported ability to produce opioid-like effects.  Consumers should be aware that the safety of kratom products has not been formally evaluated by regulatory agencies, and consumption of kratom products may pose a health risk. 

Further requirements or restrictions tied to service and sale of kratom products are possible in the future if new information becomes available about the potential risks posed by these products. 

To learn more about Denver’s Public Health Inspections Division, visit Follow PHI on Facebook at Denver Public Health Inspections for updates. 

For more information or questions, contact the Denver Department of Environmental Health at or 720-913-1311.