Skip to main content

All kratom consumers can agree that people should have the freedom to use a plant how they see fit. The best path towards this goal may seem like government regulation. I’m going to provide an argument that may make you think twice.

Warning! Incoming “hot take”

First, let me preface by saying I would prefer state regulation over prohibition any day. However, free market regulation is far more preferable to centralized, state regulation. We’ve seen the examples time and time again. The freer the market is the more it outperforms highly regulated markets. For the sake of brevity, (though, there are many examples) let’s examine the essentially unregulated consumer electronics market. This industry has seen prices go down while
the technology has skyrocketed. The driving force behind this market’s “regulation” is competition. Competition (especially when combined with our lightning-fast global communication network) is the referee in the game. It allows for the most efficient and
ethical path toward better products and markets. Now let’s compare this to a market that sees more regulation than just about any other: The medical industry.

Regulatory bodies within the government have a chokehold on every aspect of the medical industry. Like mobsters, they manipulate, extort, and coerce private industry into compliance. Now, this structure is terrific for mega-corporations. It allows them a vehicle that they can utilize to drastically decrease competition. This lack of real competition is one of the main reasons why medical care is so expensive. Now, I don’t want to seem like I’m oversimplifying the issue.  This is a very complexly regulated market with many reasons as to why it’s so abundant in its failures but most can certainly be traced back to “regulation.”

Since kratom appeared in the US, the industry has seen explosive growth. The market cap for the kratom industry is currently estimated to be around 2 billion dollars and is expected to more than double over the next 4 years. This meteoric growth has occurred largely without state regulation.  Then why is laboratory testing standard practice among kratom vendors? Surely they were forced by government regulators, right? Companies would never voluntarily take on the costly expense of lab testing on their own! In reality, the practice of lab testing kratom became popular before any state regulation appeared.  Vendors realized very quickly that consumers were unwilling to support a business that wasn’t taking this extra step. Much like the tech industry, our market is rather effectively and efficiently being regulated by you, the consumer. Social media communities on Reddit, Discord, and Facebook don’t waste any time on sharing their positive or negative experiences with kratom vendors. The moment a customer spots a weakness in a company, whether it’s their customer service, product, or website, social media users make it known to the world with lightning speed. The same is true with exceptional vendors. The market boosts their signal organically. These companies become the vanguard of the industry, giving an example to the rest of the market.

While some states have passed KCPA regulations that do appear to be reasonable thus far, there’s no guarantee that the federal government will be so kind. FDA may make it so difficult for a small vendor to be in the industry that all you’re left with is a couple of corporations that own the entire market. For those of us who prefer to support smaller, family-owned businesses this becomes a real problem. The small-batch kratom community is where you’ll find the best quality kratom with the most compassionate and caring customer service. Sourcing the freshest and best leaf becomes impossible as a large-scale vendor. They’re dealing with simply too much volume to ensure each batch is sourced ethically and is a premium, fresh leaf.

No sir, I’ll stick with small-batch.

It’s worth mentioning again as I can already hear the naysayers coming for me. Government regulation of the kratom industry is still preferable to an all-out prohibition. This article was simply meant to provoke a bit of thought. Too often the establishment’s methods become accepted into the psychology of the consumer without much thought otherwise. It may seem obvious to you that regulation is the optimal goal. I believe my argument says otherwise.

TLDR; Consumers are smarter than a centralized government regulator. People deserve the freedom to choose who they do business with. The status quo of competitive market regulation is preferable.

Leave a Reply