ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The St. Charles County Council is investigating what to do about Kratom after the medical examiner says several deaths in the county are associated with the drug.

Tuesday night, the council tabled a bill that would ban the substance all together, and instead focused on a bill that would create regulations and a permit system for those selling Kratom.

READ: St. Charles Co. man warns Kratom use caused him to enter detox center

“After a death, it’s the government’s responsibility to at least investigate,” explained County Executive Steve Ehlmann.

At his request, the council is taking a hard look at Kratom.

Councilman John White is the sole sponsor of the bill that would have banned Kratom and other similar products, calling it a public health emergency. But that bill is on hold.

After hearing from many members of the St. Charles County community, five other council members introduced a different bill, one that would allow the product to be sold, but with some stricter guidelines.

The bill put forth by Joe Cronin, Joe Brazil, Mike Elam, Dave Hammond and Mike Klinghammer says those that sell Kratom will be required put a label on it, only sell it in its pure form and limit it to those over 18-years-old. The bill also calls for a Kratom Seller Permit from the health department. The permits would be valid for one year.

The chairman of the American Kratom Association spoke to the council Tuesday night and said he approves of the new bill that would require regulations and is support of more regulations nationwide. They estimate around 16 million people use Kratom across the country.

St. Charles County Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Case told the council there is a high potential for abuse and addiction despite what the American Kratom Association claims. She has linked nine deaths in St. Charles County to Kratom.

But eight of those people died with other drugs in their system along with Kratom. In St. Louis County, there were eight deaths in the same time frame associated with Kratom.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

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