Education, Advocacy, And Working With The Industry Is Key For Cannabis For Canines And Cats
The Veterinary Cannabis Society (VCS) is the latest non-profit that has come up to advocate for legal standards and clarity on the hot topic of medical marijuana.
Dr. Gary Richter, the vice president and co-founder of VCS, supports medical marijuana and he has seen patients reap the benefits of using it as opposed to regular medication which is usually associated with side effects. Dr. Richter named gastrointestinal issues, pain, and inflammation as conditions that cannabis appears effective for in animals. He believes that by developing a certification process could assure that the products were made in a facility that meets standards, that they are analyzed properly, labeled accurately for content, and give users the peace of mind that their product is safe. This will also reduce the chances of companies making inappropriate claims.
With education, advocacy, and working with the industry, Dr. Richter hopes to see such standards adopted uniformly nationwide. California is one of the few states that has taken the first tentative steps toward providing some legal clarity on the status of cannabis and cannabinoids for veterinary use.
As cannabis-derived products have become more available, veterinarians are seeing more cases of toxicosis. In addition, animal owners are having an increasing interest in using these products for their pets.
With weak legislations in place, it is hard to keep our pets safe when people can easily go around the process. The good news is that more and more vets, pet owners, and companies across the country understand the importance of having processes that will help in keeping our pets safe while treating them with cannabis. The first thing to clear up would be to reclassify cannabis from being considered as a Schedule 1 drug. With more research on this, we would be able to make better decisions and guidelines.
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