Board of Supervisors approve ordinance banning Kratom, synthetic opioids in Lafayette County

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, January 5, 2021

After the City of Oxford banned the sale of Kratom and other synthetic opioids 16 months ago, those products are also banned in Lafayette County.

During their first regular meeting of 2021 on Monday, the Board of Supervisors approved a new ordinance, prohibiting the use, purchase, possession, distribution, sale or offering for sale of synthetic opioids or other synthetic products.

The ordinance was proposed by Lafayette County Sheriff Joey East and Alex Fauver, commander of the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit.

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In August 2019, Oxford’s Board of Aldermen approved a similar ordinance proposed by Oxford police chief Jeff McCutchen.

Since the City prohibited the selling of Kratom and similar synthetic products, East said stores in the county have begun selling those products in the last few months.

“A lot of your stores are owned by the same family,” East said. “We didn’t see it in the county. Once the city passed the ordinance not to sell it, now in the past really six months we’ve really started seeing it move out in the county. … We’re going to try and get it shut down in the county now.”

Similar to the city’s ordinance, the East is asking the Supervisors to forgo the usual 30-day waiting period before a new ordinance goes into effect. If there is a health or safety risk to the public, the Supervisors or Board of Aldermen can vote to have ordinances immediately go into effect. East also said they will give businesses in the county time to remove the products from their stores before enforcing penalties.

Once the enforcement begins, anyone found in violation of selling the products will be found guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined up to $1,000 and potentially sentenced to up to six months in jail.

With the products becoming available in the county, Fauver said they have seen kratom involved in incidents throughout Lafayette County three or four times in the last couple months.