Nevada takes lead on CBD in veterinary medicine – News

Nevada CBD art

Nevada is the first state in the US to allow veterinarians to recommend and administer CBD under a new law that protects doctors from disciplinary action when treating animal patients with the cannabis derivative. The law comes into force on October 1st.

Congregation member Steve Yeager, sponsor of the bill passed last month, said so by and large clarifies the rules about cannabidiol or CBD for veterinarians. You can now talk to pet owners about CBD, explain which products are suitable, give recommendations and dosage advice, and even administer the products.

“You can do all of this without having to worry about your board of directors being disciplined, which was really the main concern of the law,” Yeager said. Two other states, California and Michigan, allow vets to talk to customers about cannabis use, but they don’t manage such products to customers’ pets.

Most states remain silent about the use of cannabis products in veterinary medicine. With 40 jurisdictions in the United States now allowing people to use cannabis for medicine and 20 jurisdictions also allowing adults to use cannabis for recreation – according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ budgets – The unclear status of therapeutic use in animal patients has put the profession in a dilemma. In the meantime, the market has not hesitated as vendors promote CBD and hemp products for both pets and humans.

CBD, one of the many biologically active compounds in cannabis, does not cause poisoning or euphoria and has sparked interest in its potential therapeutic benefits.

Without express authorization, veterinarians have been broadly reluctant to discuss with pet owners the potential medical use of a product that, prior to 1996, was illegal in any state except for federally approved research.

What has changed

Today Nevada is one of the states where cannabis is legal for medicinal and adult recreational use. The new law on veterinary use follows a similar bill from 2015, but it never got on the agenda. This legislation would have allowed animals to obtain medical marijuana registration cards.

Yeager, sponsor of the successful bill, said he suspects the state simply wasn’t ready to take such a move in 2015, pointing out that its pharmacy program is still in the early stages, which likely sparked fears, too way too early to do.

“I think we’re fast-forwarding six years later and the scenery is just really different in the state,” he said. “I think there is a level of comfort with the cannabis industry, with CBD, that just wasn’t there in 2015.”

Another big shift: Federal law has been weakened. While all forms and derivatives of the cannabis plant were previously regulated as List 1 controlled substances, meaning that the US government saw a high potential for abuse and no accepted medicinal use, this changed with the passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

Informally known as the 2018 Farm Bill, the legislation stipulated a spin-off for hemp, defined as cannabis plants and parts of plants that contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol. THC, as it is commonly known, is the compound in cannabis that induces a high.

2018 was also a turning point for cannabis in other respects: The US Food and Drug Administration approved a drug derived from the cannabis plant for the first time. The prescription drug Epidiolex contains CBD and is for use in human patients to treat one of two forms of rare and severe. marked epilepsy.

In the meantime, published research on CBD in animal patients is beginning, including studies of the pharmacokinetics of CBD oil in healthy dogs and dogs with osteoarthritis; and a study on the effectiveness of CBD in treating epileptic dogs. There is also research focused on the safety of cannabinoids in small doses in dogs and in cats.

Bill passed without any problems

Yeager became embroiled in the issue towards the end of 2020 when he was approached by a lobbyist for the Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. He said she offered him an invoice that had already been written.

Steve Yeager

Photo courtesy Steve Yeager

Nevada State Senator Steve Yeager has sponsored a successful bill that will allow veterinarians to recommend and administer CBD and hemp products to their patients.

Yeager, an advocate for cannabis law, agreed that this was a “nice loophole” to fill.

“Of course I asked her what I always ask, which is ‘How many people are going to come out of the woodworking shops and really hate this idea and reject it?’ “He said. “And in her honor she said, ‘I don’t know anyone. I’ve talked to people and everyone seems to be okay with it.’ Fortunately it actually turned out that way. “

Indeed, the path of the groundbreaking legislation has been remarkably unremarkable: it received unanimous votes in favor in both chambers and flew through the Assembly and Senate committees without a single word of opposition. Yeager, a Democrat, found common ground for the bill across party lines, with a Conservative member of the assembly offering to speak on behalf of the bill on the podium.

Similar laws have appeared in other states, with varying degrees of success. A Michigan law that went into effect March 24 allows veterinarians “to consult with an owner about the use of marijuana or industrial hemp on an owner’s animal”. In 2018, California became the first state to recognize the use of marijuana as a medicine for animal patients with a law protecting licensees from disciplinary action just for discussing its use.

Subsequent attempts to widen the scope of California veterinarians and enable them to recommend cannabis have so far failed. A draft law tabled at this meeting, AB 384, is blocked in the appropriations committee.

Rhode Island, New York, and Oklahoma also discussed related laws at that session, said Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In Rhode Island, a pet approval bill for medical marijuana has been submitted for further investigation. Similar bills in New York and Oklahoma failed to get off the committee until the state legislatures were adjourned.

VIN News Service comments are opinion pieces that present insights, personal experiences, and / or perspectives on current issues from members of the veterinary community. To submit a review for review, email

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