Capitol Alert

Medical marijuana for pets? This California bill could make it legal

Should veterinarians be permitted to recommend cannabis products to your pets? The law could soon back them up.

Senate Bill 627, sponsored by Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton, prevents the state Veterinary Medical Board from taking special enforcement against vets who recommend cannabis products, such as CBD oil, for their animal patients.

Specifically, the bill states that a licensed veterinarian who recommends cannabis products “is entitled to the same protections as a physician and surgeon who makes a recommendation.”

The bill also allows for an animal’s “primary caregiver” to purchase medical marijuana products for their pet if they have a valid veterinarian recommendation. The vet must have an established relationship with the owner and animal, before that medical cannabis recommendation can be given.

The bill is supported by co-sponsor group Lovingly and Legally, a San Francisco-based marijuana grower, and also includes the Laytonville Grange #726, a number of individuals and the American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, which argued that, “Pet owners deserve the most reliable information possible regarding their pet’s health and well-being. That information and advice is expected to come from trusted veterinarians.”

The bill is opposed by the Veterinary Medical Board.

“The board must be able to take action against veterinarians for negligent or incompetent cannabis use recommendations – especially if the recommendation resulted in animal harm,” the board said in a statement. “The bill’s lack of protection against negligent and incompetent cannabis recommendations by veterinarians would have serious impacts on the health and welfare of animal patients.”

SB 627 cleared the Senate with a unanimous vote, and is set to be heard by the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions on July 2.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for McClatchy. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  Comments