Pot for pets? Some vets want to make it happen
Now that marijuana is legal in Canada for humans, the next step is to allow pets to consume it as well.
A group of vets is calling on the federal government to make marijuana legal for our four-legged friends.
"People could potentially buy cannabis for their pets and want to give it to them but there are no prescriptions or pet-specific products," said veterinarian Dr. Karen Joy Goldenberg of the Pierrefonds Animal Hospital.
"There's no legislation about how veterinarians could prescribe it so we're in a bit of a limbo right now as far as all of that goes."
There is research that shows the positive effects of treating some animal conditions with cannabis.
"Cannabis may be a very safe and effective product to treat things like pets with arthritis, pets with anxiety, pets with epileptic seizures," she said.
"It's looking like CBD Cannabidiol might be able to treat all those things."
Dr. Sarah Silcox, president of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, is helping to lead the charge.
Silcox’s group and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have lobbied the government to authorize veterinary use of cannabinoids. Silcox said they’ve been told by the policy adviser to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor that it is not a priority at the moment, but can be considered when the Cannabis Act is reviewed in three years.
However, Silcox noted the government is in the process of reviewing cannabis regulations now in preparation for adding edibles and oils to the list of legal products next year.
It would take only a “few small changes” to add vets to the medical practitioners authorized to prescribe cannabinoids and to change references to people to patients, covering both the human and animal variety, she said.
With files from The Canadian Press