Bill Seeks Medical Cannabis Access For Pets In New York

Pets and medicinal marijuana
Image: Brummeier

In New York State, humans aren’t the only ones who may benefit from expanded medical cannabis laws – pets may get a look in too.

Assembly Bill A10104, sponsored by New York State Assembly members Amy Paulin and Donna Lupardo, covers any medical condition experienced by a pet that may benefit from treatment with “medical marihuana”* as determined by a licensed veterinarian.

Under the Bill, Section 1. Subdivisions 3 and 12 of section 3360 of the public health law, as added by chapter 90 of the laws of 2014, would be amended to read certified patient meaning a human or animal, along with other related changes.

The bill is yet to attract a Senate sponsor, but has been referred to the Senate Health Committee.

Pet owners across the USA and world are reading more about the potential benefits of cannabis in treating animals and questioning vets.

While animals such as dogs and cats are particularly sensitive to the psychoactive cannabinoid THC; as in humans, cannabidiol is seen as potentially valuable therapeutic compound. It may be useful in treating conditions such as separation anxiety, epilepsy and various inflammatory conditions. Cannabidiol can also be extracted from industrial hemp, which is less problematic from a legal viewpoint.

Regardless of current laws, any pet owner considering using cannabis in treating their pet should do so under the supervision of a vet as using incorrect preparations may pose health risks – particularly if they contain THC.

This is certainly an area where more research needs to be done. A couple of studies we’ve previously reported as being under way include research at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, evaluating the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating dogs for epilepsy and osteoarthritis.

Closer to home, in October last year we reported CannPal Animal Therapeutics Limited (ASX:CP1) had received ethics approval for a large pharmacokinetic and safety study in dogs involving THC and CBD. Last month, CannPal announced it had engaged Dr Jeffrey Sherman to assist the Company in the development of its cannabis-derived medicines. In addition to his experience in animal health, Dr Sherman has significant knowledge of the endocannabinoid system.

CannPal also reported in February the clinical phase of CPAT-01, the Company’s lead drug candidate, is scheduled to commence this month, with a pharmacokinetic and safety study in the final stages of preparation at that point.

Learn more about cannabidiol and pets.

* “marihuana” is the way marijuana used to be spelled and still is in some legal documents.