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Should kratom products sold in Virginia come with a warning label?

FILE - This Sept. 27, 2017 file photo shows kratom capsules.
Mary Esch
FILE - This Sept. 27, 2017 file photo shows kratom capsules.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require new warning labels for kratom.

Kratom is an herbal extract from Southeast Asia that's currently in products already on store shelves across Virginia in smoke shops and at gas stations. It's often used as a treatment for pain or as an alternative to opioids. Now, Republican Senator Frank Ruff of Mecklenburg has a bill that would require warning labels.

"You don't want anybody to use too much. They might get sick. It's not going to kill them, but it will make them sick," Ruff explains. "You don't want children having it. In addition to that warning label, you want to have what the dosage should be for an adult."

Delegate Dawn Adams is a Democrat from Richmond who worked with the senator to help make sure the bill accomplished the goal.

"So that it would essentially not in any way validate its use but put some guardrails around it so that people know that it can cause problems and that you cannot purchase it any longer if you’re under 21," Adams says.

The House of Delegates is set to consider the bill in its final week of session.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.