Starting this October, veterinarians licensed in Nevada can recommend and administer hemp and cannabidiol products containing not more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol without fear of sanction from the state licensing board.
Earlier this year, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 101, making Nevada the first state to legalize the use of cannabinoids as a veterinary treatment. The Nevada Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners helped write AB 101, which the Nevada VMA supported, according to NVMA Executive Director Michelle Wagner.
The bill’s sponsor, State Assemblyman Steve Yeager, introduced the measure in February because Nevada law was unclear about whether veterinarians were permitted to administer CBD products or discuss them with pet owners.
“Because of the ambiguity in our law, I learned that many veterinarians chose not to talk about CBD with pet owners for fear of being disciplined,” Yeager said. “This left pet owners in a tough spot because CBD products are generally unregulated, and it would be difficult for a pet owner to know exactly what to purchase or administer without the professional advice of a veterinarian.”
Nevada voters approved medical marijuana for people by ballot initiative in 2000. Cannabis became legal for recreational use in the state on Jan. 1, 2017, following a 2016 ballot measure.
AB 101 encountered no opposition and passed the state Assembly and Senate without a single no vote, Yeager explained.
“I certainly hope that other states follow Nevada’s lead and provide reassurances to licensed veterinarians that they can administer CBD or talk about it with patients without fear of facing disciplinary proceedings,” he said. “The bill itself is fairly simple and, thus, is a good model for other states.”
Although products containing 0.3% or less THC are exempted from the federal Controlled Substances Act, the products do fall under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act