It’s amazing how random interactions can result in big ideas. The origins of the Veterinary Cannabis Society started with a few simple introductions, a few connections, and some exciting conversations between like-minded people. The result was the launch of the first nonprofit organization to bring together veterinary professionals, pet parents, and the cannabis industry to ensure the safe treatment of pets.
It all began in 2017, when Dr. Trina Hazzah and Dr. Gary Richter first met at a holistic veterinary conference in San Diego. They had spoken via email and phone due to a common interest in holistic treatment options, but it wasn’t until they first met face to face that their friendship truly began. At the time, they were both independently exploring cannabinoid therapies for pets, but they later found common ground with the advent of the newly introduced bill in California, AB 2215, the first proposed veterinary cannabis legislation.
Trina then introduced Gary to Charles Lozow, a lawyer admitted in New York and California. Charles and Trina met with an attorney at Greenberg Traurig in the Fall of 2019 and with Gary’s continued input, the concept of creating the Veterinary Cannabis Society was born. From early 2020 forward, Greenberg guided VCS to become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Around the same time, Trina and Beth Frankenberg, who had known of each other through a mutual colleague, decided to sponsor a veterinary cannabis educational symposium together in the Fall of 2019. There, Beth, Trina, and Charles all got the chance to discuss some of the issues facing the industry. The plans for an organization started to solidify. Exploring options, the group started gathering a list of interested parties, from all aspects of the industry, to participate in a virtual meeting to discuss the proposition of forming a new organization dedicated to promoting veterinary cannabis.
As luck would have it, this first official virtual meeting of all 25 interested parties occurred on March 14, 2020, the first day of the California COVID-19 lock down. The uncertainty of the times didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits however, and without knowing what was to happen in the coming year, the team surged ahead. Meeting via Zoom, several of the founding partners have actually never met in person!
As the worldwide events of 2020 began to unfold, it became clear that life as we knew it was going to change. Not to be deterred, the founders continued to work diligently, and remotely, to create what is now the Veterinary Cannabis Society. As an official 501(c)3 organization, VCS will – through membership, corporate partners, and individual supporters – change the conversation about the use of cannabis in veterinary medicine.
VCS represents the culmination of over 18 months of hard work by dedicated professionals with a strong desire to fill a much-needed void and to establish an organization with the unique vision of creating an educated and empowered global veterinary medical cannabis community.
Thanks for being part of this journey with us!
VCS Founders Dr. Trina Hazzah, Dr. Gary Richter, Dr. Beth Frankenberg, Charles Lozow