California Veterinarians Can Now Discuss Cannabis With Pet Owners

California vets - cannabis and pets
Image: Lepale

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law preventing vets in the state being penalised for discussing the use of medical cannabis with pet owners.

AB2215, introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, prohibits the state’s Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) from disciplining or denying, revoking, or suspending a vet’s license for discussing medicinal cannabis use with a pet owner. Contrary to some reports regarding this bill, disciplinary action and penalties can still apply if veterinary physicians take things a step further; for example, dispensing or administering medicinal cannabis products.

“Right now there’s no guidance,” said Mr. Kalra back in May. “And since cannabis has become recreationally legalized, there’s a great risk that individuals will be giving cannabis to their pets not knowing and not having any guidance on it.”

The bill also requires the board to adopt guidelines for how discussions with pet owners should be carried out on or before January 1, 2020.

The  California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) says it has been a driving force in moving this bill forward.

While the Veterinary Medical Board has previously stated it does not have a formal position on the matter of marijuana and hemp use on animals, if it receives a complaint related to a Board licensee’s involvement,  the Board would be obligated to undertake an investigation and take appropriate disciplinary action if the findings so warranted.

The use of cannabis derived products for treating various conditions in pets has been on the increase, particularly in relation to cannabidiol (CBD) treatments and supplements for dogs. Various scientific studies are also currently being undertaken to gauge the efficacy and safety of CBD in relation to dogs.

In other recent related news, this time from Australia, CannPal Animal Therapeutics Limited (ASX:CP1) announced early last month it had commenced Phase 1B of the Pharmacokinetic and Safety study for CPAT-01D, a  medicine being developed as a pain control in dogs. The study involves 48 beagles and foxhounds and is expected to be completed late in Q4 2018.

The company intends to file an Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) application with the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the results from this and previous studies.

Learn more about cannabidiol and dogs.