Is it legal for me as a Veterinarian to dispense CBD? How do I do it and not get in trouble?
My background is being in senior positions with Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, working in their New York offices. I worked daily with the FDA, and other compliance agencies. I am considered one of the top experts in the field of CBD. We also have the top CBD legal counsel in the world identified by Forbes magazine, Chelsea Spencer (Meet the Fearless Lawyer Saving the CBD Industry, Forbes Feb. 26, 2019). Net is that when you are working solely through licensed medical professionals, you don’t get a second chance, so the utmost knowledge and caution is required.
NOT ONE compliance citation or action has ever been brought by ANY agency against any DVM’s for offering legal Hemp CBD. It is estimated that about 5,000 Veterinary hospitals legally offer CBD in the U.S. It is critical that you understand that your CBD supplier is 99% responsible for all the legal requirements that must be met in its advertising, labeling, etc. There have been numerous suppliers that have received (and justifiably so) fines and legal action from the FDA. However, WünderPet is considered a “poster child” for following FDA, DEA, and other agencies’ compliance; so you can feel 100% confident when you become a WünderPet Vet. Also, in the extremely unlikely event you are ever told to not sell WünderPet, we will give you a 100% refund.
What is legal CBD?
The 2018 Farm Bill, which became Federal Law in Dec. 2018, did many things for Hemp CBD. It took Hemp CBD that contains less than .3% THC, and that is derived solely from industrial Hemp plant, off the schedule 1 drug list. It also allows for offering it to the consuming public, under certain guidelines. While state or local laws can circumvent Federal law, we know of only one exception: Idaho. There were 2 other states that were outliers (South Dakota and Nebraska), but they changed in 2020 and we now sell in both.
The issues we find with the veterinary field is misinformation. The AVMA position is pessimistically precarious. They do not come out and say that it is illegal to offer CBD, because they know that is not true, and them stating that would set them up for legal liability. Recently, there was op eds and discussions between one of our major competitors and the AVMA in a well-known publication. There was also a video that had been placed on their electronic media that took the same AVMA stance, which we called into question. We went directly to that publication, and their response in writing back to us was “our legal department thoroughly reviewed the video and agree with your statements.”
Manage The Total Care Of Your Companion Pet Patients
Bottom line is that you now have PetSmart selling Hemp CBD (not Hemp oil, which contains no CBD) in 43 states and Petco selling it in 38 states; not to mention all the other retailers that have and are selling it. Personally, I loathe PetSmart and Petco because of what they have done to the independent Veterinary clinic; not to mention all the small CBD stores all across the U.S. As a DVM, you should be the one that totally manages the total care of a companion pet, and not have some teenager behind a counter at a small CBD store telling your companion pet owner what they should buy and how to use their CBD for the companion pet.
Dosing Is Critical
Dosing is critical. Too little, and it’s like giving yourself a baby aspirin for a migraine; too much, and your pet owner wastes their money. WünderPet CBD has no toxicity, but other CBD products with higher THC levels (CBDA, CBG, CBN, Full spectrum) could. It is CRITICAL that you use a pure, isolated CBD product like WünderPet, and not an unproven and potentially dangerous “mixture” such as CBDA, CBG, CBM, or full spectrum (which contains the highest concentration of THC to create the entourage effect). Full spectrum can be good for human consumption, but not on the companion pet side. The effects of any THC are still very suspect with animals, especially canines, and we don’t know the threshold of toxicity of THC. That is why WünderPet only offers pure No THC isolated Hemp CBD, and pure isolated No THC Hemp CBD should be the only product you consider.
How To Legally Present CBD
Now that you know the background, let’s discuss how you, as a DVM, can legally present CBD. First, unless your state Veterinary Board has an ordinance specifically saying you cannot discuss or offer CBD, then you can; they would have to enforce action on hundreds of clinics that are already selling it in each state (we are selling to DVMs in 44 states).
Every Vet board that we have talked to take the stance to abide by the federal and state laws. We have talked directly with the head legal state board legal compliance counsel for leading states, including California, Texas, Florida, and many others. It is discriminatory for any agency to disallow the same position for all parties, so for the state board to say a DVM cannot manage and sell a product that other classes of trade are selling (which by the board mandate not allowing CBD offerings, could negatively impact a pet’s health) is putting these boards in a possible liable position. A few examples of similar products you as a DVM do manage are antihistamines, probiotics, glucosamine, and others.
Let’s Stress A Few Things…
- CBD should always be termed an alternative care option. With 4 out of 10 of your companion pets currently using CBD (will be 6 out of 10 by 2022), CBD needs to be managed and only the highest of quality independently tested reputable products like WünderPet offered. Sadly, there is no regulation in our industry.
- You have to understand CBD is not classified as a food or supplement and you cannot convey it as such.
- Finally, the most important area for a DVM is to understand what can’t be said, and what we recommend should be said about CBD based on the FDA’s Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The act specifically states that in no way can you convey to anyone that CBD is a drug. The product, nor any statements about CBD have been evaluated by the FDA. We actually recommend you as a DVM take it one step further and tell your clients that CBD is an alternative care option with no guaranteed results, it is not a drug, and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Full disclosure is always recommended.
What Should Be Avoided
Per the FD&C Act, you cannot convey that CBD will treat, cure, prevent, diagnose, or mitigate any disease. Using the word “supports” should be your go to word legally. For example, you can say WünderPet CBD supports osteoarthritis pain, but you cannot say it treats or prevents it.
Another example is that you can say WünderPet CBD provides a relaxing and mellow feeling to a companion pet (this is not a disease). You can’t say CBD calms your companion pet, because the need to calm could be considered to be a treatment for a disease. WünderPet actually provides a framed clear disclaimer that we recommend is placed at your counter stating the above; that way you are protected in writing in your clinic as well.
CBD is going to be one of the largest categories to come into the pet arena since heartworm, and flea and tick. We don’t want to see other pet or retail companies corner this market and take away from you fully treating your companion pets, as well as the high dollar and profit sales it contributes to your practice and its multiple value. We have single Veterinarians currently selling over $100,000 of WünderPet CBD annually! In most cases, CBD sales already represent one of the highest non-service product areas in a DVM’s practice.
Don’t be afraid to be the cutting-edge thought leader that you are! We at WünderPet, including our outstanding DVM board, are always here to answer and assist you.
Charlie Moore, MBA
CEO Premier Products, Inc.