Kratom’s popularity as an herbal supplement is growing, with statistics showing that almost 1% of American adults use it regularly. However, venturing into the kratom business is substantially challenging despite a ready market.
Besides associated start-up challenges like raising capital and marketing, the industry’s dicey legal framework is the biggest challenge for kratom businesses. In 2016, the FDA attempted but failed to have kratom listed as a Schedule I substance, yet it keeps pursuing that goal.
So, below are six tips to help you start and run a profitable kratom business legally.
Product quality is paramount whether you take the franchising route or go at it alone. The kratom industry remains unregulated, and incidences of the FDA seizing contaminated kratom continue to increase. Such an incidence would cost your business stupendous financial loss, not to mention irreparable harm to your brand’s reputation.
Therefore, always conduct research and only deal with suppliers who use organic, ethically grown, and harvested kratom leaves. For the kratom to meet your expectations and standards, work with manufacturers who submit their kratom products for independent lab testing. It’s a reliable way of verifying product potency and safety.
Alternatively, you can take the initiative and submit your retail products for independent lab testing and receive a certificate of analysis (COA). COAs are transparency tools that help solidify consumer trust in your brand. Moreover, they also help you verify packaging information, ensuring consumer dosage safety.
Understand the Legal Framework
Kratom is a highly polarized substance, splitting its proponents and opponents in half. On one side, the American Kratom Association (AKA) and its allies advocate for kratom’s therapeutic effects. On the other side, the FDA and some legislative leaders posit that kratom’s associated risks outweigh any supposed benefits.
Consequently, while kratom remains federally legal, it is a banned substance in six American states. Therefore, ensure that every aspect of our kratom business is legal as you set up the business. A slight oversight on your part exposes your customers susceptible to criminal drug charges. It also leaves your business vulnerable to lawsuits that could kill it before it even takes off.
Although you cannot receive an operating license if kratom is illegal in your jurisdiction, the devil is in the details. So, look into minute factors like promotional restrictions, disclaimers, and packaging and labeling requirements.
Hiring an experienced kratom lawyer to guide you through the legal landscape can save you from legal troubles. Besides lawyers, the AKA’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Standards Program is also an invaluable resource, helping promote legal compliance among kratom businesses.
Identify Your Business’s Position Within The Supply Chain
The Kratom supply chain is diverse, from importation to processing and packaging, marketing, and retail. While big kratom brands handle all aspects of the distribution chain, this may prove challenging for a new brand in a somewhat hostile market. Therefore, consider starting with one segment of the supply chain, retail, for instance, as you master other industry aspects.
Moreover, select kratom brands with franchising opportunities. You pay a franchise fee to an established brand in return for permission to use their trade name and operational systems. The primary advantages of franchising are reduced risk of loss and breaking even within a shorter period.
You can opt-out of franchising and establish your kratom brand when you have an insider understanding of the industry. The intricate industry knowledge acquired through franchising should help you select an end-to-end business model in the long run.