As federal and state officials continue to crack down on opioid abuse, another unintended consequence is emerging.
Veterinarians are having a hard time accessing opiate painkillers used to treat pet patients.
8 News Now stopped by a marijuana business conference to see how the cannabis industry is filling the void.
“He’s our mascot and our inspiration for Phyto Animal Health and for everything we do,” said Ian Quinn, ceo, Phyto Animal Health.
Six years ago, Ian Quinn adopted his best friend Dante from a shelter in Southern California. Dante suffered from severe arthritis and hip dysplasia.
“By age 3, he couldn’t go up and down stairs, I had to carry him, his mobility was limited, but also being a rescue from a kill shelter, he had really bad separation anxiety.”
Dante wouldn’t eat and didn’t respond well to the bevy of medications veterinarians prescribed to him. Quinn decided to give CBD a try.
That’s the chemical in cannabis that is not psychoactive. He says the results were night-and-day for his grey pit.
“Within three days his mobility got much better, he started moving better, he started eating without fuss,” Quinn said.
He founded his company, Phyto Animal Health, to share the benefits he discovered with other animals and their loved ones.
But there is a catch.
All of this is done on the consumer market. Due to federal regulations, veterinarians cannot possess, administer, dispense, or prescribe cannabis or cannabinoid products.
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“To not let veterinarians discuss, prescribe or even sell these products puts the veterinarian – it actually removes them from expertise, and that puts people at risk, it puts the animals at risk,” Quinn said.
Due to the crackdown on opioids, veterinarians are left with fewer options to treat pet patients. Quinn hopes federal restrictions ease soon so that CBD products can be prescribed to animals and others can experience the benefits he has seen with Dante.
“It’s meant the world, you know, it’s an extension of life and happiness that both of us have.”