Pet owners could talk to their vets about CBD, marijuana products under Michigan House-passed bill

Products promising to alleviate a beloved pet’s pain with CBD oil or THC have long been available to consumers – but Michigan veterinarians are currently operating in a legal gray area when talking about those products with pet owners.

Many Michigan lawmakers are hoping to change that. This week, a bill that would let veterinarians consult with pet owners about the use of marijuana or industrial hemp products for their animals passed the Michigan House unanimously.

Rep. Greg Markkanen, R-Houghton, sponsored the bill after learning from veterinarians in his district that while clients often have questions about how products containing CBD or THC could affect their pet’s health, state law doesn’t explicitly allow veterinarians to discuss the pros and cons of the products with pet owners.

Veterinarians also aren’t technically allowed to initiate discussions about whether a pet has been exposed to marijuana – which experts say can pose problems for treating animals, as THC can interact with other medications or cause medical issues in the event of an accidental overdose.

“We must make sure our veterinarians are able to have open and honest conversations with people about using products containing CBD oil and marijuana to care for their pets,” Markkanen said in a statement following the passage of his bill.

In January, the House Agriculture Committee heard from veterinarians that the law could help lead to better information and research about appropriate uses and side effects for animals, and also help pet owners get trusted medical advice on the products instead of having to research it on the internet.

“Without the correction, it holds our hands behind our backs in properly advocating what would be proper for their pet,” Dr. Kellie Holmstrom, a Marquette veterinarian who helped inspire the legislation, previously told lawmakers.

Michigan has allowed medicinal marijuana use since 2008, and hemp and recreational marijuana were legalized in 2018. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a hemp-derived extract that can be added to oils and lotions and is used as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, depression and pain.

Sales of CBD pet products have increased rapidly throughout the country, increasing from $8 million in 2017 to $32 million in 2018, according to the Brightfield Group. The firm estimates the CBD pet market could reach $1.16 billion nationwide by 2022.

The legislation, House Bill 5085, is now before the Michigan Senate. It would need to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to become law.

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Michigan veterinarians want authority to discuss CBD, marijuana products with pet owners

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The CBD pet market could reach $1.16 billion in the U.S. by 2022.

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Salon Owner’s ‘Political Leanings’ Led To ‘Setup’

KEY POINTS

  • Nancy Pelosi’s hairstylist said the owner’s political leanings led to Monday’s setup
  • The stylist said the owner had been violating health orders since April
  • A law firm said they had evidence showing Kious working without a face mask

The stylist involved in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s salongate controversy has spoken in support of the Democrat after she accused the establishment of setting her up during Monday’s hair appointment —  a visit that was widely criticized by Republicans. 

Jonathan DeNardo, the stylist who served Pelosi at the salon, released his statement on Thursday. He said Erica Kious, the owner of eSalon San Franciso, permitted him to go forward with the appointment even though local ordinances prohibited salons from operating. 

It is unclear whether DeNardo was aware that the appointment violated the city’s coronavirus restrictions as Pelosi said she was told the salon was allowed to serve customers one at a time. 

In the statement, DeNardo accused Kious of purporting responsibility for the salon’s temporary suspension of operations. He also claimed the owner’s political leanings led to the setup, which was done “for her own vain aspirations.”

“The fact that Ms. Kious is now objecting to Speaker Pelosi’s presence at eSalon, and from a simple surface-level review of Ms. Kious’ political leanings, it appears Ms. Kious is furthering a set-up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations,” DeNardo said.

Soleiman APC, the law firm representing the stylist, said they collected photographs, footages, and witness statements that prove Kious had been violating the health order by operating indoors despite stay-at-home orders since April 2020. 

The original story, which was published by Fox News, has gone viral in conservative media circles. CCTV footage of the incident has been replayed and covered by major outlets. It was also played on loop at a White House briefing on Thursday, as reported by NPR.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy, slamming the House Speaker for becoming the victim of a setup. Donald Trump Jr. also called Pelosi the Marie Antoinette of the 21st century, in reference to the queen of France who was known for hosting extravagant parties that lasted for nights. She became the symbol of the monarchy’s excessiveness. 

Pelosi responded to the video on Wednesday, telling reporters that she was set up by the salon owner. In her statement, she said she takes full responsibility for falling for the setup, but believes the salon should apologize for the incident

In response, Kious appeared on “Tucker Carlon Tonight” to dismiss the accusations.

San Francisco has ordered hair salons and barbershops to cease operations since March due to the COVID pandemic. The city lifted the restrictions this week but only for outdoor services. 

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said some progress had been made in stimulus talks, and while both sides are far apart on some issues, markets expect a deal will eventually be done House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said some progress had been made in stimulus talks, and while both sides are far apart on some issues, markets expect a deal will eventually be done Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN

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