California Law to Allow Conversations About Cannabis Use in Pets

California will be the first state whose veterinarians are legally allowed to talk to clients about cannabis use for pets.
Amanda Carrozza
Published: November 03, 2018
It’s official. California will be the first state whose veterinarians are legally allowed to talk to clients about cannabis use for pets. But they will not be allowed to dispense or administer cannabis-based products.

The legislation, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in late September, goes into effect on January 1, 2019 and prevents state regulators from penalizing a veterinarian for discussing the therapeutic use of marijuana in animals.

Because the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled drug, most veterinarians have historically taken the stance that they should not discuss the drug’s possible medical uses with pet owners. This sentiment is also true in states that legally permit the recreational use of marijuana, such as Colorado and Washington, because there were no state laws in place that address the use of cannabis products in veterinary patients.

California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) members were vocal about their support for the bill throughout the voting process. “It’s what’s best for animals, it’s what’s best for clients and certainly, it’s what’s best for the veterinarians, because they’re the professionals,” said Valerie Fenstermaker, executive director of the CVMA, who spoke before the state senate vote in August. “We have dispensaries selling these products and nobody...outside of a veterinary professional should be giving advice about using these products in animals.”

Read more at AmericanVeterinarian.com.

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