The marijuana industryâ€™s newest customers are sick and elderly dogs
Rich Hua stashed this in Seriously?!!
Medicinal marijuana really can help some pets.
With marijuana flourishing into a big business in the US, a new segment of the market catering to aging and ailing pets has been growing under the radar. The legal weed market raked in $2.7 billion in revenue in 2014, and one estimate by the ArcView Group, a network that connects investors with cannabis startups, projects the industry to topÂ $10 billion in salesÂ by 2018.
The pet-pot market is treading on new territory, however. The legal gray area is posing challenges for companies that want to market and distribute cannabis-derived products for animals. Thereâ€™s also insufficient scientific backing and industry guidelines. Still, thatâ€™s not deterring desperate pet owners, like Mansfield, or keepingÂ investorsfrom getting on board.
The FDA is watching
The special cookies given to Kali were produced byÂ Auntie Dolores, an Oakland-based maker of edible marijuana goods, including caramel corn, cheese crackers, and savory pretzels (a bestseller). The seven-year-old company launched its pet treat line, Treatibles, about a year ago.
Unlike its edibles for humans, Treatibles products, which are sold in dispensaries, arenâ€™t made from marijuana but from hempâ€”the stem of the cannabis plant thatâ€™s low in the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which produces that feeling of getting high. Hemp, however,Â does containÂ cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical compound that alleviates pain. The US government also defines hemp as cannabisâ€”not necessarily the stemâ€”that measures less than 0.3% in THC, a threshold that allows its movement across state lines.
Most companies making cannabis-derived pet products choose to use hemp because the federal government still classifies marijuana as aÂ Schedule 1 substance, defined as â€śdrugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.â€ť Currently, 23 states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws. But as it stands, veterinariansÂ arenâ€™t empowered to prescribe cannabis to pets. That could change soon.Â NevadaÂ is currently debating a bill that would allow people to obtain medical marijuana for their pets with a vetâ€™sÂ approval.