In January 2022, the California Veterinary Medical Board assigned its Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC) to review a request to update the Guidelines:
Current Guidelines for Veterinarian Discussion of Cannabis Within the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (Guidelines)
Updates from April 20, 2022, California Veterinary Medical Board Meeting (VMB)
Two conclusions were reached:
1) For cannabis products above 0.3% Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):
As detailed in the Guidelines that are based on 2018 legislation AB 2215 (Kalra), California veterinarians are permitted to “DISCUSS” cannabis with their clients.
New legislation introduced in February 2022, AB 1885 (Kalra), adds the ability for veterinarians to “RECOMMEND” cannabis with their clients. In April 2022, the bill unanimously passed, 19-0 out of its initial committee and was referred to the Appropriations Committee.
During the April 2022 VMB meeting: The board members voted to support AB1885.
Because this bill is still moving through the California State Legislature, the MDC voted to recommend waiting to update the Guidelines at this time. If passed, the VMB will have until January 2024 to produce an update.
2) For cannabis products below or equal to 0.3% THC:
Since hemp CBD is an over-the-counter (OTC) product, there is no need or legal
precedent requiring the Board to establish guidelines for it. California veterinarians can discuss, recommend and sell hemp-derived cannabis products just like any other OTC products. OTC products do not require a prescription.
Jeff Pollard, DVM
Diplomate, ABVP (Canine/Feline)
Advocacy Committee, Veterinary Cannabis Society
Trina Hazzah, DVM, DACVIM (O), CVCH
President and Co-founder, Veterinary Cannabis Society
Gary Richter, MS, DVM
Co-founder and Treasurer, Veterinary Cannabis Society