inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Radnor Wins Round One With CBD Kratom

Last spring, Radnor officials unanimously passed an ordinance that prevents the controversial store, CBD Kratom, from opening at the site of a former Starbucks on Lancaster Avenue in Wayne.

CBD Kratom immediately filed a lawsuit against the DelVal township. However, last week, the Delaware County Court of Common pleas dismissed Kratom’s petition for a preliminary injunction.

“Having conducted an evidentiary hearing on the Petition on July 20, 2022, at which all parties testified, and a variety of documents were admitted into evidence, having considered the testimony and documents admitted at the Injunction Hearing and having reviewed the parties’ submissions, it is now ordered and decreed the Petition is denied,” the court ruled.

Radnor Township previously argued that the ordinance they defended in the lawsuit was designed to protect children from exposure to unregulated substances near daycare facilities, playgrounds, and schools.

Many parents opposed the opening of the CBD Kratom store in various township meetings due to fears of their children being potentially exposed to these drugs. One woman read a letter signed by 88 people, including business owners, in opposition to the store.

Earlier, CBD Kratom officials claimed they signed a 10-year agreement to rent at the Radnor location in August 2021.

CBD Kratom’s government affairs specialist, Spencer Owens, previously explained how Radnor was chosen simply for the demand for the product. Nationally, the company has over 50 venues and several within the Delaware Valley region. CBD Kratom determined many of its customers were traveling long distances to their stores and that a Radnor location would help reduce that need.

However, Radnor officials said the company had not obtained the proper permits to do business there. But Owens claims that the inability to get the appropriate licenses was primarily due to Radnor officials and their lack of responsiveness. This led CBD Kratom to file a lawsuit against Radnor and its director of community development, accusing them of spot-zoning legislation targeted at one specific business.

Despite the petition being denied, CBD Kratom is still optimistic about their plans going forward.

“The court simply denied the request for a preliminary injunction, leaving open the avenue for damages and the potential for a permanent injunction,” said Jill Firns, CBD Kratom’s Brand Reputation Manager. “The judge did not address the actual merits of any of the claims and did not say Radnor acted legally or permissibly. The decision last week was based on the judge’s interpretation of the record. We are assessing our options for the next steps – whether it is an appeal or moving forward for a permanent injunction, the case is still ongoing.”

The suit asks the court to allow CBD Kratom to open for business and to sell delta-8/kratom. Since the  township THC measure was passed back in April, it prevents the distribution and sale of any delta-8 THC or kratom product from within 1,000 feet of daycares, playgrounds, and schools. That makes the Wayne location, the site of a former Starbucks, unusable because it’s near St. Katharine of Siena School and Radnor Middle School.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Radnor Hit With Suit for Blocking CBD-Kratom

CBD Kratom may have the last laugh.

After weeks of residents’ outrage, Radnor officials passed an ordinance that prevents the controversial store from opening at the site of a former Starbucks on Lancaster Avenue in Wayne. The company immediately filed a lawsuit against the Main Line township.

“Since the township ordinance was unanimously approved by the board, CBD Kratom filed a lawsuit to enjoin its application,” said Bill White, township manager. “The township intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit in that the ordinance is solely designed to protect children from exposure to unregulated substances in close proximity to schools, daycare facilities, and playgrounds. The township looks forward to defending against the claim in Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.”

For their part, CBD Kratom officials said they signed a 10-year agreement to rent at the Radnor location last August.

Spencer Owens, government affairs specialist for CBD Kratom, explained Radnor was chosen simply because of the demand for its product. CBD Kratom, which has over 50 venues nationwide and several within the Philadelphia area, determined many of its customers were traveling long distances to their stores and that a Radnor location would negate the need for that. That is where things began to grow complicated.

However, township officials said CBD Kratom had not obtained the proper permits to do business there. But Owens claims that the inability to get the proper permits was due in large part to township officials and their lack of responsiveness on the matter. CBD Kratom filed its lawsuit against both the township and the township’s director of community development accusing them of spot-zoning, a type of legislation targeted at one specific business.

The suit aims to allow Kratom to open for business and to sell kratom/delta-8. The  THC measure was passed April 4. It prevents the sale and distribution of any kratom or delta-8 THC product from within 1000 feet of schools, playgrounds, and daycares. That makes the Lancaster Avenue CBD Kratom location unusable because it is near Radnor Middle School and St. Katharine of Siena School.

Fear of their children being exposed to the drug motivated many parents to pack township meetings in opposition to the kratom store.

Delta-8-THC is a less common, less potent relative of Delta-9 THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. It is currently under preliminary research. Kratom, derived from an evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, currently stands in a unique spot in the world of psychoactive substances.

Like marijuana, it has been used for thousands of years and is said to offer a wide variety of benefits, from pain relief to energy gains. Unlike marijuana, however, it is underregulated. For a product to make it to shelves that, in many cases, provides no dosage information whatsoever, is quite unusual in the world of pharmaceuticals and supplements.

The lack of regulation surrounding it sabotages the effort to prove its benefits. People are often left with the impression that any substance so completely unregulated must thereby be dangerous. The truth is more complicated.

While deaths have been attributed to kratom, they have rarely occurred without additional factors or substances at play. There is understandable concern that kratom, which does interact with the brain’s opiate receptors, could serve as a gateway drug in the communities that it enters. The inverse, however, is also true. There is no shortage of kratom users who espouse its benefits, Many claim kratom saved them from crippling opiate addiction. Others go even further and credit kratom for saving their lives entirely.

While benign in comparison to more accepted drugs like tobacco and alcohol, its sheer lack of regulation is concerning to many. Based on imports and sales, there are between 10 and 15 million kratom users in the U.S. alone. For a drug to amass such a large base of users while so little is actually known about it is highly unusual. In December, the WHO said there simply was not evidence to recommend a critical review of the substance, and that it should be kept at a minimum level of regulatory surveillance.

An article from Scientific American explained how damaging the effect of FDA regulation could be. “In the context of an America with the highest number of overdose deaths ever—driven largely by street fentanyl—removing a safer substitute almost certainly will increase mortality.”


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mis-identified the Radnor Township Manager. It has been corrected. DVJournal regrets the error.


Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or

New CBD Kratom Store in Wayne Closed for Now

Radnor residents were surprised and outraged at the sudden opening of a store on Lancaster Avenue in Wayne that sells CBD and kratom, two substances that have surged in popularity in the last decade.

Many citizens came to the Board of Commissioners meeting Feb. 14 and said they strongly oppose the store, which is a few blocks from St. Katharine of Siena School and Radnor Middle School. However, township solicitor John Rice said the store opened without first obtaining the proper permits and has been shut down–for now.

One woman read a letter signed by 88 people, including business owners, in opposition to the store. The Mayo Clinic website warns Kratom is unsafe, she said.

“Having this store in our community normalizes drug use,” she said. Kids had immediately noticed the signs and taken selfies with the large marijuana leaf to post to their Instagram pages. She asked the BOC to make sure the store stays closed.

Clark Engle agreed and asked why the BOC had not proactively written ordinances to ban that sort of business. He noted officials had previously discussed a marijuana dispensary and a clean needle exchange, so they should have known the dangers of permitting undesirable business entities to take root in the township.

“I don’t want this in my backyard or anywhere on the face of the earth,” he said. “These utopian ideas don’t work. Just take a look at San Francisco.”

The business, St. Louis-based CBD Kratom, is expanding its reach with new locations in the Philadelphia area.

“In October 2021, we signed a lease for the former Starbucks facility after doing due diligence with Delaware County and Wayne Business Overlay District (WBOD),” said Dafna Revah, company vice president, told the Delaware Valley Journal. “Unfortunately, Radnor Township requirements were not identified by our team. I strive to live by our core values, which include responsibility, and which is why I take full ownership of this oversight. As always, we strive to be part of the communities we serve, which is one of the reasons we chose this facility in South Wayne. It was utilized as a previous training facility for Starbucks and the space provides us with a golden opportunity to have a permanent educational space for both us and our community.”

Kratom, a substance which many of its critics and even proponents liken to ‘legal heroin,’ has been met with controversy in many states. Some states, like Alaska, Arizona, and California offer only limited access to the compound.

Other states, like Alabama, Arkansas, and Indiana have gone as far as banning it entirely. In Pennsylvania, as in many other states, it remains a legal substance that can be easily found in most tobacco stores and head shops. Even gas stations are known to carry the substance. Kratom is a tree in the same family as coffee and can be found in both Southeast Asia and Africa. Its leaves exhibit psychoactive properties that can be compared to either stimulants or opioids depending on the dose consumed.

According to, “Kratom can be addictive due to its opiate-like qualities, and a small minority of users end up requiring addiction treatment. The CDC claims that between 2016 and 2017, there were 91 deaths due to kratom, but this claim should be greeted with skepticism, as all but seven of these casualties had other drugs in their system at the time of death, making it impossible to uniquely implicate kratom.”

Proponents of kratom argue the drug is a safer alternative to many opioid pharmaceuticals often used to treat heroin withdrawal symptoms. Skeptics are not convinced, pointing to dire consequences for some who ingest the substance.

“Caleb Sturgis, 25, of West Chester, died on June 27 after he drank tea made with kratom, according to the lawsuit against SoCal Herbal Remedies the Inquirer reported in 2019.” Sturgis then proceeded to crash his car on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Chester County, but the coroner ruled his death was from ‘acute mitragynine intoxication,’ the active ingredient in kratom.”

In an email to constituents, First Ward Commissioner Jack Larkin said, “It’s my understanding that CBD Kratom did not apply for permits from the township to begin operations. I’m told it has no certificate of occupancy, no plumbing and electrical permits, no business license, and maybe a half-dozen other defects in its permitting.”

While the store is purporting to be a dispensary, Larkin pointed out that, “CBD Kratom doesn’t seem to actually sell medical marijuana or hold a permit to do so, so it may be using the term in its colloquial sense, or in order to create confusion as to what exactly it sells.”

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijuana often used to treat epilepsy and a wide variety of other ailments.

”It’s closed. They were told they could not open without permits. They need permits,” said Rice.

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or