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Indonesian Minister Of Agriculture Declares That Kratom Is A Medicinal Plant; This Is A Step In The Right Direction But Does Not Avert The 2022 Indonesian Kratom Ban

The Indonesian Minister of Agriculture has declared that Kratom is a medicinal plant, transforming Kratom from a grey area plant that is not legally defined into a legal commodity. This seems to be a step in the right direction for Kratom legalization in Indonesia, but there are mixed reactions from Indonesian Kratom vendors on this matter. Additionally, this declaration does nothing to stop the 2022 Indonesian Kratom ban.

Starting with the good part of this news, this declaration has the potential to make the Kratom industry in Indonesia more legitimate, since if Kratom is classified as a medicinal plant, then it is completely legal and will be properly regulated.

That being said, apparently this declaration is pending, and this declaration won’t be confirmed until ‘expert’ research on Kratom comes in. When it comes down to it, it remains to be seen whether real science or misinformation will win when the results of this research are reported, and Kratom will only officially become a medicinal plant if the research says that Kratom is safe and non-addictive, and until then the Minister of Agriculture’s declaration is not in effect.

Further, apparently Kratom vendors think this is just an attempt by the Indonesian government to capitalize on the Kratom industry, and to charge high taxes on the production and export of Kratom. Kratom vendors in Indonesia are speculating that this action to declare Kratom a medicinal plant will increase Kratom costs worldwide.

Now for the worst part of this news, which is that even if the research comes back positive and Kratom is declared a medicinal plant, the 2022 Kratom ban is still in effect. Indeed, the Kratom ban law explicitly says that from New Year’s Day 2022 and onwards that Kratom cannot be used as a food supplement or traditional medicine, and therefore it won’t make any difference if Kratom is classified as a medicinal plant.

In-fact, the Indonesian National Committee on Narcotics declared that Kratom is a Schedule I Narcotic as of 2017, and the re-classification of Kratom as a medicinal plant doesn’t change that.

Zooming out, it seems the good news here is that some elements of the Indonesian government are advocating for Kratom to stay legal, specifically the Department of Agriculture, meaning there is a chance that the 2022 ban could be reversed before it happens. However, for now there are no definitive signs that the Indonesian Kratom ban is going to be reversed.