What Pet Owners Should Know About California’s New Veterinary Cannabis Law

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 1885 (Kalra). The bill allows veterinarians to recommend cannabis for their patients and directs the Veterinary Medical Board to adopt guidelines for this medical advice. With Assembly Bill 1885 signed into law, cannabis products for pets may also be sold in licensed dispensaries as long as they meet legal standards.

Limited studies suggest Cannabidiol (CBD) — or even small quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol l (THC) — can offer therapeutic benefits for animals. However, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), did not recognize cannabis as a therapeutic product for pets. That meant veterinarians could not recommend CBD without risking disciplinary action from the Veterinary Medical Board.

Assembly Bill 1885 is "a huge shift,” Pet Cannabis Coalition President Tim Shu told Leafly. “This is the first bill of its kind in the world. My goal is for other states and countries to see this as a framework.”

Conditions that CBD may be able to treat in pets include cancer; anorexia; anxiety; chronic pain; inflammation; and seizure disorders.