SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While you can find it in convenience stores and specialty shops on almost every corner in Sioux Falls, kratom will now be illegal for anyone under the age of 21 in South Dakota.
KELOLAND News investigates has brought you a series of reports on the controversial plant from Southeast Asia, which typically comes in pill or powdered form. It’s more than a billion dollar business and the supplement acts as a stimulant on the brain at low doses and at higher doses has an opioid effect.
According to a CDC report, the substance has been linked to overdose deaths across the country.
Brian Helmbrecht’s brother, Jake, died of a kratom overdose in 2020; one of three last year linked to kratom.
Brian testified in favor of the bill in the South Dakota legislature to raise the minimum age for purchasing kratom to 21.
Kratom is banned in at least six states and several cities.