CA Veterinary Medical Board quarterly meeting updates re: cannabis issues

The CA Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) had its quarterly meeting on July 17-18, 2019 in Sacramento.

Updates on relevant topics are listed below:

Wednesday, July 17: 

Item 1.

Jeff Pollard DVM gave his Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC) report from the meeting on July 16.

Regarding the cannabis guidelines enacted after the passing of AB2215:  “after vigorous discussion, the MDC unanimously passed these guidelines.” (see below)

The document titled “Veterinary Medical Board’s Guidelines for the Discussion of Cannabis Use for Veterinary Patients. Effective January 1, 2020” can be freely accessed by clicking this link:

The VMB is slated to vote on these guidelines in October, however, pending the outcome of SB627, these guidelines may not last.

Item 2.

This is the memorandum sent to the MDC regarding “Discussion and Potential Recommendation on Defining Conditions That Must be Met for Board Approval of Providing Statutory Authority for a Veterinarian to Give Clients Cannabis Treatment.”  This is regarding pending legislation, SB 627.

This document is freely accessible and can be viewed by clicking this link:

There was much discussion and public comment on the above.  Some points stressed were:

-consider species other than dogs and cats

-consider that, despite the need for research results that may take years, these products are already out there, and pet owners are using them

Item 3.

Legislative update:


On the document below, this item is under section L, page 5:

Discussions ensued about:

-funding for research

-where to perform the medical cannabis studies on animals?

-removing the requirement for consulting with CMCR because they don’t have research studies on animals

-Much discussion about the fact that the bill has had several amendments, but the amendments at the time of this meeting, were not printed for public viewing, so there was some concern about unknown language that may be in the amended bill.

-Concern if a funding requirement is added to the bill, it may not pass.

-proposals made to bifurcate the approach by approving as written and then write a separate bill for funding.

Dr. Nunez proposed a “Motion to support if amended.”  This Passed.


Updates to this and other VMB announcements regarding these issues will be posted as they become available.





Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

The Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee (MDC) had its quarterly meeting on April 16 in Riverside.   This is the committee tasked with developing the guidelines surrounding the cannabis discussion that were enacted with the passing of AB2215.  These guidelines need to be in place by Jan. 1, 2020.

Among the many items on the meeting agenda, was item #6:

Discussion and Development of Guidelines for Discussion of Cannabis with Veterinary Clients; the potential recommendation to the full board.

When this agenda item came up, there was much discussion between the board members and various speakers.   Below is a link to the current draft guidelines.  There were some adjustments and revisions suggested surrounding bullet points 1 and 9 under “Patient evaluation and Record keeping”, pages 2 and 3 of the document below.

This document and other meeting agendas can be found and freely accessed on the CA VMB website under the ‘board meetings’ tab


Wednesday, April 17, 2019.

The Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) had its quarterly meeting on April 17-18 in Riverside.

Relevant topics at this meeting included:

  1. The MDC committee chair gave his report to the full Veterinary Medical Board at this quarterly meeting. He reported that the final, finished guidelines are not likely to be published until the end of the year.  This is due to the ongoing discussions involved and the fact that further pending legislation (SB 627) will be considered this year (which the governor may have until October to sign, if passed).  The draft of the guidelines will be re-presented at the next quarterly VMB meeting in July.


  1. In addition, the VMB had on their agenda, item # 8, ‘Update, discussion and possible action on 2019 Legislation’.  Sub item J; SB 627 (Galgiani, 2019) Medicinal cannabis and medicinal cannabis products: veterinary medicine.

There is a link to the legislative items below.  (*Note that this item is labeled ‘K’ on this document)

Also embedded is a link to the text of the bill and how to track its progress.  You can access the information on the bill on the ‘News’ page of this site or via the direct link below:


There was a lengthy discussion on this matter, with public speakers that included 2 co-sponsors of the bill.  Concerns listed by some board members included:  The “recommending” of cannabis, the “dispensing” of cannabis, the need for more research, the lack of ability of the VMB to discipline a veterinarian utilizing cannabis in the case of negligence, and the definition of a “qualified veterinarian.”

While the board voted to oppose this bill as it is written, a motion was made to refer the matter to the MDC to “define the conditions needed to help the VMB move forward on this issue.”

Clearly, the story is not over and there is much more to come…

Updates to this and other VMB announcements regarding these issues will be posted as they become available.