Matt Jones

Medical Cannabis-for-Pets Bill Introduced In California

A California proposal could become the first law in the country specifically enabling veterinarians to recommend medical cannabis products for pets.

Full story after the jump.

A bill introduced in California would allow veterinarians to recommend cannabis products for pets, VIN News Service reports. The measure first needs to pass a review by the state’s Veterinary Medical Board but, if approved, would be the first of its kind in the U.S.

Last year, state regulators recognized cannabis in veterinary medicine, becoming the first state to provide legal protections for vets who talk to pet owners about cannabis use for their animals. This bill takes those protections a step further.

If the Veterinary Medical Board doesn’t support the measure it will likely see no further action; however, even a neutral stance would enable it to move forward, the report says. The board would also be responsible for developing guidelines for vets to follow by January 1. The board has released draft guidelines which could mirror the adopted guidelines if the bill is passed. That document does warn practitioners that “no federal or state agency oversees standardization of cannabis product concentrations for use on animals” and “research to-date is lacking conclusions regarding dose, toxicity & efficacy.”

Last year, CannPal Animal Therapeutics began a cannabis-for-dogs study in Australia for its leading drug candidate CPAT-01. In the U.S., a Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study last year found a hemp oil product “efficacious” for dogs with arthritic and geriatric pain. In 2017, Creso Pharma received approval from the European Union to sell CBD products for pets.

A bill similar to the California proposal was introduced in New York last year but gained no traction in the legislature. A measure in Connecticut would provide similar protections for veterinarians as the current California law, while a Tennessee bill would protect vets from professional discipline for recommending industrial hemp-derived products.

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