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Pet Cannabis Coalition announces support of California Assembly Bill 1885
The newly established group declared its support for this bill to formally legalize cannabis products for pets
Pet Cannabis Coalition—a new advocacy group that supports legislation striving to legalize cannabis products for pets and create a legal framework that allows veterinarians to recommend these products—announced its support of the California Assembly Bill 1885 (AB 1885).
"Cannabis can provide life-changing–-and oftentimes lifesaving–-benefits for animals," says veterinarian Tim Shu, DVM, president of the Pet Cannabis Coalition and the founder and CEO of cannabis-based therapy company, VETCBD, in the release.1
"Pets and their owners deserve to have access to products that can improve their lives, and veterinarians should be allowed to provide guidance on such products. We need to shed the shroud of prohibition and embrace science if we're to embark on a path of progress. This is why we created the Pet Cannabis Coalition; to ensure there is staunch political advocacy surrounding the health and wellness of our beloved pets," he explained.
In 2018, Assembly Bill 2215 passed, allowing veterinarians to discuss the use of cannabis for medical purposes on patients.2 However, this bill only clarified the point of discussing not actually recommending cannabis. Because of the lack of legal clarity, most veterinarians are hesitant to recommend cannabis treatments for fear of facing disciplinary repercussions. This language error has caused some veterinarians to opt out of even discussing cannabis with clients.
"A crucial component of the work we do is advocating for animals, both on the state and national level," says Elizabeth Oreck, national manager of campaigns and initiatives for Best Friends Animal Society.
"California's legal language surrounding how veterinarians can discuss cannabis is unclear, and this too often has them deciding not to discuss it at all. While the research shows that animals can benefit from cannabis in various ways, many caring pet owners aren't able to receive professional advice about these benefits."
The Pet Cannabis Coalition supports this new bill to help begin a path toward formal legalization to receive proper regulation on cannabis products for pets. If AB 1885 passes, cannabis compounds such as topicals, chews, and tinctures will be able to be recommended for administration so pet owners can treat their pets under the guidance of veterinary professionals. The bill will also make sure pet cannabis products are tested for safety, concentration, pesticides, and other quality control measures.
"On behalf of our members across the state, we're enthusiastic about supporting the mission of the Pet Cannabis Coalition," adds Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association. "AB 1885 is an important step forward in providing clarity and structure surrounding how cannabis can be used for therapeutic purposes in pets."
- Introducing the Pet Cannabis Coalition: the advocacy group supporting efforts to legalize cannabis for California pets. News release. Vet CBD. May 19, 2022. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/introducing-the-pet-cannabis-coalition-the-advocacy-group-supporting-efforts-to-legalize-cannabis-for-california-pets-301551689.html
- Bill Text - AB-2215 Veterinarians: cannabis: animals. Legislature.ca.gov. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB2215