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As Town Council continues to explore possible Town laws governing an herbal substance called kratom, there will be opportunities for public involvement – including one this week.
Kratom is an unregulated substance found in the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree. The leaves can be made into a tea, chewed or made into a capsule; the active ingredients have stimulant effects and are used for various purposes such as pain relief.
Late last year, the Town received an inquiry about a possible kratom bar – similar to a coffee shop or café – in Town. Many federal agencies are studying kratom due to concerns about potential abuse, quality control and marketing practices. Because of the potential risk to public safety, Town Council on Dec. 18 adopted a 180-day suspension on the establishment of new businesses related to kratom sales.
During the 180-day suspension period, Town staff has been surveying and collaborating with the kratom industry, regulatory agencies and law enforcement to identify, and potentially regulate, kratom sales within Town. Potential regulations could include age restrictions and limitations of on-site consumption.
The collaborative effort will culminate Friday, Feb. 22, when representatives of the kratom industry, regulatory agencies and law enforcement will hold an all-day meeting at Castle Rock Town Hall. The public is invited to observe the meeting, which will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Council Chambers. The meeting will also be live-streamed at CRgov.com/watchCouncil and available at CRgov.com/kratom following the meeting. The opportunity for public comment will come later, at an open house being planned for April 1.
The Feb. 22 meeting will feature presentations from the American Kratom Assoc., the Kratom Trade Assoc., the Botanical Education Alliance and local business Smoker Friendly. Additionally, the Douglas County Coroner, Tri County Health and the Castle Rock Police Department will provide presentations. Town staff will review the information presented and potentially draft regulations for public feedback and Town Council consideration later this spring. Stay updated on the process and how to be involved – including by providing feedback online – at CRgov.com/kratom.
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