AB 2215: Cannabis for Pets

As cannabis has become legalized in California, and many other states across the US, many people have been drawn to its therapeutic effects for both humans as well as their furry companions. While cannabis sounds like a good alternative for pets suffering from certain ailments such as anxiety, osteoarthritis, or epilepsy, pet owners must be extremely careful when administering cannabis to their animals due to the negative effects improper dosing can have on them.

Some cannabinoids can be extremely harmful to animals while others have widely-acknowledged therapeutic benefits. Cannabis’ well-known cannabinoid THC, notorious for its psychoactive properties, can be very dangerous and even fatal to pets when administered with medium-high doses. CBD, on the other hand, is a cannabinoid that has no psychoactive properties and can be beneficial to pets when administered with correct dosing. Both cannabinoids have potential positive effects when administered correctly, but correct dosing is extremely difficult with animals due to their differing physiologies.

California’s recent passing of Assembly Bill 2215 (AB 2215) helps to alleviate the guess work involved with proper dosing and administration by offering protections for veterinarians with respect to discussing cannabis as a treatment for animals. Prior to the Bill’s passing veterinarians could have their licenses revoked for discussing cannabis as a treatment for animals. Under AB 2215, California veterinarians now have the ability to talk to their patients’ owners about the possibility of using cannabis in the treatment of their pets and the bill establishes specific guidelines on how to do so.

While there are still regulations governing the advertising and discussion of cannabis with pet owners by veterinarians, this has been a large move forward for veterinarians and their ability to discuss cannabis as a treatment for pets without the threat of losing one’s license. California licensed veterinarians interested in discussing cannabis as a possible treatment should consult with an attorney or compliance expert to ensure treatment protocols and discussions comply with the state’s newly adopted guidelines.

California Cannabis Legislation Links:

AB 2020: Cannabis Event Licensing

AB 2402: MJ Consumer Information

AB 2721: Cannabis Testing Laboratories

AB 2914: CBD & THC Infused Beverages

SB 1409: Commercial Hemp Cultivators

SB 1459: California Provisional Cannabis License