Senator Pam Helming and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle have introduced legislation that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing, possessing, or using any products containing kratom. The bill would also directs the New York State Department of Health to conduct a study on the benefits and risks of kratom.
Kratom is a tropical tree in the coffee family originating in Southeast Asia, where it has been used as an herbal drug. While it is believed to have some medical benefits, it is also believed to have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration moved to ban its sale and classify it as a Schedule I drug due to it being an imminent public safety hazard, but the decision was ultimately delayed to allow for further research.