The kratom industry in America has always been a bit shaky, especially from the outside looking in. Due to strict rules, importation problems, and changing laws, the status of kratom is not always clear or consistent. This can lead to some fear and discomfort among both kratom vendors and kratom consumers.
Due to this uncertainty, the GMP program was established by the American Kratom Association in an attempt to organize and plan for the future of the kratom industry. Varying laws and disorganization were putting the industry’s future at risk. The GMP program has, in many ways, smoothed out many of those risks.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into understanding the GMP program and what it is all about. How can a single program change the future of the industry forever? Find out today!
All About The GMP Program
If you aren’t familiar with the GMP program run by the American Kratom Association, don’t worry! We’ll cover it (and why it matters for consumers like you) today.
The GMP Program, also known as the Good Manufacturing Practices Program, is a standards program that was set up to help kratom vendors establish a high level of manufacturing. The program sets up certain industry standards that help to ensure every batch of kratom sold is safe and reliable for consumers.
What Guidelines Are Established?
The specific guidelines established by the GMP program are very detailed. If you want to read the full guidelines, you can check them out on the AKA website here.
Generally, these guidelines set up provisions to ensure the following:
- Kratom is being tested regularly
- Kratom is being tested in batches that are tracked with proper documentation.
- The facilities are being managed in safe, secure ways.
- The workers are in safe conditions and are also being encouraged to follow safety procedures properly.
- The labeling on kratom is not misleading for consumers.
- The business is being properly audited by a 3rd party every year.
- There are systems in place to track the complete kratom supply chain being used.
Each of these areas, as well as all of the others covered in the complete guidelines, are important to ensure that the kratom sold to customers is being monitored for safety. Before these guidelines existed, there were discrepancies within the community about what level of testing was necessary.
With industry standards like the GMP rules in place, it makes it easier to share and apply all new research about what is best for kratom processing as well.
How Are Vendors Added?
If a vendor wants to join the GMP program, they have to make sure that they are compliant with all of the guidelines. That, however, is just one step of the complete process. Joining the GMP isn’t necessarily simple, but it is a worthwhile time investment for vendors.
Here is what vendors have to do to join the program:
- Enroll on AKA’s website.
- Complete the initial 3rd party audit within 90 days.
- If the 90-day audit window is missed, AKA will work with the vendor to find out if this was a reasonable mistake or if their practices are out of the GMP requirements. The AKA will update their participant list accordingly.
- Every year, the vendor must complete another 3rd party audit.
As long as a vendor remains in line with the guidelines laid out by the AKA’s program, they will be able to stay in the program for many years to come.
Why Does GMP Matter?
Has it become clear to you why the GMP is so important yet?
If not, that’s okay!
It can be confusing to pay attention to the behind-the-scenes workings of an industry when you are just a consumer in that area. Let’s focus on why the GMP program should matter to you.
There are a few major reasons why having this program in place is so important for kratom consumers:
- Gives you an easy way to check if your preferred vendors take safety seriously
- Ensures that only safe and tested kratom is being sold
- Helps track any contaminated batches and who bought them if that should happen
- Builds up the community into a respected, safe place
Kratom’s status in the United States can be scary and confusing when the laws are different depending on where you live. A program like GMP helps to ensure that regardless of limited state laws and actions, the industry as a whole is being held to a level of high-quality.
Left Coast Kratom and GMP
Left Coast Kratom is a proud member of the GMP program. In addition to passing the initial screenings after we made sure that our business was in line with the guidelines, we continue to update our processes to follow the best practices as they are updated by the GMP program.
As time goes on, we believe that having such high standards in the industry is going to make it a better place for consumers and vendors alike.
Support The GMP Program
The best way that you, as a consumer, can support the GMP program is to make sure that you are only buying from vendors that are actively working towards accreditation or are, even better, already participants.
The complete list of qualified vendors is updated on AKA’s website regularly.
Buying from vendors on this list rather than those that do not take these protections seriously helps to ensure the future of safe kratom in America. When low-quality products make it to the market, they put the entire industry at risk.
Kratom lovers that love to shop for kratom locally can still follow this rule by checking out the list of vendors before they hit up their local shop. In the shop, you should be able to find more than one brand option for kratom. And if your local shop doesn’t carry any qualified vendors, you can strike up a conversation and find out why not!
In some cases, they may not be able to source from those vendors, or they may not be aware of the program’s importance. Either way, getting involved with kratom advocation at the local level is a great thing to do.