Weed for your dog? N.J. veterinarians are pawing at medical marijuana to heal pets
(NJ.com) Even as Gov. Phil Murphy sets about doubling the size of the state’s medical marijuana program, there’s still one segment of New Jersey’s population without any access: The four-legged.
While physicians can recommend medical cannabis for human patients, New Jersey’s veterinarians are legally prevented from giving pet owners advice or recommendations regarding its use, despite the growing availability of cannabidiol, or CBD, products for animals.
“There’s a tremendous future in them, and I believe as time goes on, they will serve a great use. But, at this point, we’re handcuffed,” said Dr. George Cattiny, a veterinarian in Pompton Lakes.
“No one wants to take any risk. You don’t want to be the pioneer and risk your license.”
In January 2017, the DEA moved to define any extract of cannabis plants as Schedule 1 drugs under the Controlled Substance Act, putting those who prescribe or recommend it in legal peril.
Dr. Jeffrey F. Powers, the chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s subcommittee on cannabinoids, said the nation’s largest veterinary professional organization will address the conundrum of being blocked from recommending legally-available CBD products at its October meeting. His comments were first reported in NJ Cannabis Insider.
While he said it’s the hot topic among veterinarians, his organization has been wary of taking any position that might put vets’ licenses at risk.
“Clients have historically gone to the veterinarian to be the source of knowledge about their animal’s health,” Powers said. “And (so) the vet is left in a precarious position. … It needs to be that we can talk freely.”
This all may be changing — in both cannabis-legal states and New Jersey. Read the full story at NJ.com.