Medical marijuana use has been permitted in Michigan for 12 years.
As a result, doctors have had the right to discuss the option of using CBD or marijuana with their patients.
Unless their patients are animals. (Not metaphorically, of course.)
When the lawmakers wrote out the legislation, they failed to include veterinarians. Because of this, they aren’t legally allowed to initiate discussions with owners about CBD or marijuana, or recommend the cannabis products as possible treatment.
This has left Michigan veterinarians seeking the right to talk cannabis with their patients’ owners.
CBD Products for Animals Enter the Marketplace
CBD became legal in the U.S. as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp. Even so, there were no regulations or standards put in place for the product.
As such, there are an increasing number of CBD products available for pets. And plenty of research shows the effectiveness of CBD for treating certain ailments including pain, anxiety, depression, and anxiety.
The CBD pet market has the potential to reach $1.16 billion in the U.S. by 2022. It’s exploding.
That means pet owners are already using these products for their four-leggeds.
This can be problematic if the CBD products interact with Fluffy’s or Fido’s current medication.
If pet owners disclose that they’re using these products, they can explore potential counter indications with their veterinarian. But if they don’t, veterinarians are not permitted to ask questions or freely discuss it.
This puts a significant limit on his or her ability to give informed medical advice to an animal’s owner.
Michigan Veterinarians Seeking the Right to Talk Cannabis
Many veterinarians in Michigan say that questions about CBD and marijuana products are a daily occurrence in their practices. Answering those questions is, by law, completely kosher.
Not being able to initiate those conversations, however, means that unless pet owners ask those questions, vets cannot advocate what could potentially help the owner’s pet.
Permitting veterinarians to share their expertise on potential health benefits and risks would help pet owners make more informed decisions. Particularly because there can be a lot of confusion about what’s on those shelves.
Their options are only going to increase as marijuana products for pets begin to enter the marketplace.
Thus, Michigan lawmakers are starting to see the necessity of inserting veterinarians into the medical marijuana laws.
Enter House Bill 5085
Legislation pending in the House Agriculture Committee would do just that.
House Bill 5085 proposes adding language to Michigan’s public health code explicitly allowing veterinarians to talk about marijuana or CBD with pet owners.
The bill will need to clear both the House and Senate and be signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to become a law.
Of course, veterinarians will still be prohibited from prescribing any products not approved by the FDA. Allowing them to discuss products with pet owners and guiding them toward reliable information though is a positive step forward.
Plus, it could also help veterinarians treat accidental overdoses. Right now, the owner would have to offer up the information that their dog ate too many marijuana cookies. And he or she may not be willing to do that.
When all is said and done, there’s simply no reason to prohibit veterinarians from partaking in discussions about products that could help lead to better information and research.
House Bill 5085 would do just that.
Interested in All Things Cannabis?
Michigan veterinarians seeking the right to talk cannabis is yet another sign of how quickly this industry is changing and growing.
As experts in cannabis public relations and marketing, we know how important it is to stay on top of what’s happening in the cannabis world.
So keep checking back with our blog to keep up to date.