Medical Marijuana: Not for Dogs, FDA Says

Medical marijuana is legal in Washington state. But the FDA has ordered a Seattle company to stop selling cannabis products for dogs and cats. The products are shipped nationally.

The party’s over for a Seattle, WA medical marijuana company that is marketing cannabis products for medical and "wellness" use for dogs and cats. Medical marijuana is legal in the state, but so far just for humans.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Canna Pet LLC, a Seattle, WA company until March 18 to stop selling these products to pet owners.

Through its website, the company sells products like dog biscuits and cannabis capsules, saying they are good medicine for pets.The only possible negative consequence, the company claims, is that a dog that takes too much might decide it needs a long nap.

The company advertises that there are “medical benefits, behavioral benefits, prolonged life, reduced stress, and improved quality of life for our pets,” when they ingest cannabis. It advises pet owners to make its cannabis products “a daily food additive for all pets, but especially for those with arthritis, allergies, anxiety or behavior issues, compromised immune systems, diabetes, digestive issues, nausea, chronic pain, cancer, seizures, and those receiving palliative care.”

The FDA strongly disagrees.

Cannabis "is not generally recognized among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of animal drugs as safe and effective,” Eric Nelson, director of the FDA”S center for veterinary medicine’s compliance division in a cease-and-desist letter to Canna-Pet president Daniel Goldfarb.

Further, to sell such products, the company needs to submit a new animal drug application.

“Your product is not approved or listed by the FDA”, Nelson wrote, and is “considered unsafe” as well as adulterated.

The FDA, in its February 24 letter, gave Goldfarb 15 working days to comply.

It is the second legal battle for Goldfarb. In 2014 he was sued by former partners, two veterinarians who charged that he stole their trade secrets used in the manufacture of Canna Pet products.