New Michigan Law Allows Veterinarians to Discuss Marijuana and CBD With Pet Owners

Under the new law, vets in the state could either recommend, or advise against, the use of various therapeutic cannabis products for animals.

January 8, 2021

The state of Michigan has passed a law allowing veterinarians to consult with pet owners on using marijuana or hemp—including cannabidiol (CBD)—products for their animals.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed H.B. 5085 into law in late December 2020.

According to a legislative analysis of the new law, veterinarians were previously unable to consult with pet owners on the use of marijuana or hemp. This law would open up their freedom to either recommend or advise against giving animals cannabis in various forms.

“The current restriction on veterinarians’ ability to discuss the benefits, as well as the risks, of treatments for pets derived from marijuana or industrial hemp results in incomplete and inadequate pet health care,” the legislative analysis says. “Allowing veterinarians to become a trusted source of information, in a marketplace with many competing and confusing claims, would ultimately benefit both pets’ health and their owners’ peace of mind.”

Michigan’s law currently bans selling CBD animal and pet feed products, including pet treats. However, residents in the state can add CBD products, like oils, to their pet’s food, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The agency notes that “safe levels for animal consumption have not been established.”

A report released in February 2020 by Nielsen, a global data analytics company, and Headset, a data and analytics service provider for the legal cannabis industry, showed projected growth in the pet CBD market. The report found that hemp-based CBD pet products will represent 3-5% of all hemp CBD sales in the U.S. by 2025. Other findings from that report include:

  • 74% of CBD consumers have pets.
  • Pet products have accounted for nearly $10 million in sales at regulated adult-use cannabis retailers in California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington combined (Q1 2018 through Q3 2019).
  • The average price per pound for CBD dog treats is twice that of the average dog treat.
  • About one in four pet owners uses hemp-CBD either for themselves, their pet(s), or for both.