Cannabis could soon be a veterinary care option in California.
Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) is leading the charge for canine cannabis. Under a bill recently proposed by Kalra, veterinarians would be able to talk about marijuana treatment for pets.
Currently, it’s illegal for vets to discuss pot as an option.
“We’re doing this bill because we want research to guide our regulations,” Kalra said.
Right now owners are often experimenting on their own, Kalra said. Eventually, he wants the bill to allow veterinarians to be able to recommend cannabis for their animal patients.
“The fact of the matter is cannabis can be used to treat a number of ailments in pets, including pain, anxiety, inflammation, nausea and seizures,” said Dr. Tim Shu, who is the founder & CEO of VETCBD, a cannabis-based pet medicine company based in Los Angeles.
He supports the bill.
“That’s why I started the company, because as a veterinarian and a health care provider, I recognized that there is therapeutic potential for cannabis use in animals if dosed properly,” Dr. Shu said.
Most of his products contain CBD – a compound known to be medicinal. It’s different from THC – the cannabis compound that gets people high.
Assemblymember Kalra says the interest in cannabis for animals is high.
“Right now there’s no guidance,” Kalra said. “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.”
Artur Urbanski, a dog walker in San Jose said, “I probably wouldn’t mind, especially if it’s cheaper than paying the pharmacist.”
Critics though are concerned about marijuana poisoning in pets.
Bay Area vets see numerous cases a week.
The bill failed an early vote last week from the California Veterinary Medical Board.
Kalra says he will work with them as the bill tries to make its way through the state legislature.