The State Senate, California, has voted unanimously for SB 627, which will bestow pet guardians with the option to buy medical marijuana for their pets with the recommendation of a veterinarian.
Sponsored by Democrat Senator Cathleen Galgiani, the legislation was carefully examined by the California Veterinary Medical Board.
The use of medical marijuana for pets has been a buzzing topic of late, especially after the anecdotal evidence provided by many pet guardians that confirmed the pain-relieving properties of the drug, which drastically improved their canine’s condition. However, veterinarians are still reluctant to recommend cannabis as doing so could make them a victim of federal penalties.
Even if SB 627 is signed into law, not every vet would be able to prescribe medical marijuana for pets. In order to recommend the drug, vets will have to take a course approved by the Association of Veterinary State Boards’ Registry of Approved Continuing Education. This would qualify them for protection under the law, which provides the same legal shields as those afforded to doctors prescribing marijuana for human consumption in the state.
Last year, similar legislations allowing pet marijuana medicine advanced in both California and New York, though they couldn’t pass the finishing line. In California, however, the passage of AB 2215 allowed veterinarians to “discuss” the possibility of medical marijuana with pet guardians, although the definition of the term “discuss” is still contentious among the members of the Veterinary Medical Board.
Meanwhile, Tennesse and Connecticut are also considering bills that would prevent vets from getting into trouble for recommending marijuana.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Cannabinoids such as CBD ‘apparently’ hold therapeutic benefits for the treatment of pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, and epilepsy, though the available scientific evidence for animal use is presently limited.”
The AVMA also advises pet guardians to be wary of the cannabis products that they get for their canines from the market, as it has been seen that many pet products are inaccurately labeled in regard to active ingredients.
Notably, a 2018 study by Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine had found that a hemp oil blend was “efficacious in dogs with chronic joint pain, osteoarthritis, geriatric pain and soreness; with dramatic benefits seen in our more geriatric patients.”