What the American Kratom Association Has Done for the Kratom Community

Even if you’re new to the kratom community, you’ve probably read or heard about the American Kratom Association. While virtually all industries have trade associations that represent the best interests, the AKA has gone above and beyond to keep kratom legal across the United States.

To begin, we’ll explore the roots of the American Kratom Association. We’ll also cover other important things about the AKA, including its goals, its leadership, and its actions.


Understanding the American Kratom Association’s Legal Status

The American Kratom Association was formally established as a nonprofit organization in 2014. It’s currently recognized as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, which means it’s exempt from most taxes.

501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are charitable organizations, a class that frequently includes churches. 501(c)(4) organizations include trade associations and social welfare organizations. Both of these entities promote causes in the name of the general good of their members. Since the AKA strives to promote the general wellness of the kratom industry, it’s allowed to structure itself as a 501(c)(4) organization.

Although the organization doesn’t list its financial statements anywhere online, the organization does share its tax returns with people. According to its website, anybody who’s interested in looking through the AKA’s Form 990 tax returns should reach out to Pete Candland by email — if you’d like to do so, follow this link.


What Does the American Kratom Association Do?

Just like all other trade associations, the AKA strives to promote the interests of kratom consumers and vendors. In other words, the organization is interested in promoting the kratom industry as a whole.

Although its operations aren’t exclusively limited to the United States, the vast majority of its actions take place domestically.

Above all else, the AKA argues that kratom should be formally regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Regulation is important because it ensures consumers receive pure, unadulterated products that pose little threats to their health and well-being. Even though kratom is rarely adulterated, poor manufacturing processes can cause unwanted contaminants to get inside batches of kratom.

For several years, the FDA has issued warnings against kratom, claiming Americans shouldn’t consume it for several reasons. These reasons include heavy metal contamination, salmonella contamination, and manufacturers’ potential use of adulterants. Regulation would nearly immediately eliminate all of these issues.

Admittedly, manufacturers would absorb substantial costs to comply with these regulations. Although this would increase the cost of kratom for consumers, these costs are well worth keeping kratom legal.

The AKA encourages kratom manufacturers and processors to follow Good Manufacturing Practices. While not as stringent as pharmaceutical guidelines, Good Manufacturing Practices are still quite tough. In simple terms, GMP greatly reduces the likelihood that consumers purchase kratom that contains contaminants or other unwanted adulterants.


Who Works for the American Kratom Association?

Currently, as of Jan. 2021, the AKA’s website lists three leadership figures on its website: Matt Salmon, Chris Bake, and Peter Candland.

Mac Haddow is one of the AKA’s most well-known associates. The organization’s Senior Fellow on Public Policy, Haddow is well-versed in government relations, consulting, and public affairs. He’s held positions in the Utah House of Representatives and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among many other notable appointments. Haddow is one of the loudest voices speaking out for kratom within the United States.

Peter Candland is the American Kratom Association’s Executive Director. He’s worked in government, marketing, and management consulting for more than two decades. He’s been on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors since 2012. Candland has been the Executive Director of the AKA since Oct. 2016 and the President of Red Letter Consulting Services since Nov. 2016.

Matt Salmon is a former U.S. state representative of Arizona who’s been with the AKA since 2016. Chris Bake has a lengthy career in the marketing world, spending most of his time throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

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