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AB-2215 Veterinarians: cannabis: animals.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/27/2018 09:00 PM
AB2215:v93#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2215
CHAPTER 819

An act to amend Section 4883 of, and to add Section 4884 to, the Business and Professions Code, relating to veterinarians.

[ Approved by Governor  September 27, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 27, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2215, Kalra. Veterinarians: cannabis: animals.
The California Uniform Controlled Substances Act classifies controlled substances into 5 designated schedules, and places cannabis and cannabis products under Schedule I. The act prohibits prescribing, administering, dispensing, or furnishing a controlled substance to or for any person or animal, unless otherwise specified.
The Veterinary Medicine Practice Act provides for the licensure and regulation of veterinarians and the practice of veterinary medicine by the Veterinary Medical Board, which is within the Department of Consumer Affairs. The act authorizes the board to revoke or suspend the license of a person to practice veterinary medicine, or to assess a fine, for specified causes, including violating a statute related to controlled substances. The act also makes a violation of its provisions a misdemeanor.
This bill would authorize the board to revoke or suspend a veterinarian license, or to assess a fine, for accepting, soliciting, or offering any form of remuneration from or to a Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) licensee if the veterinarian or his or her immediate family has a financial interest, as defined, with the MAUCRSA licensee. The bill would authorize the board to revoke or suspend a veterinarian license, or to assess a fine, for discussing medicinal cannabis with a client while the veterinarian is employed by, or has an agreement with, a MAUCRSA licensee. The bill would authorize the board to revoke or suspend a license, or to assess a fine, for distributing any form of advertising for cannabis in California. The bill would prohibit a licensed veterinarian from dispensing or administering cannabis or cannabis products to an animal patient. Because a violation of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act’s provisions is a crime, the bill would expand the scope of that crime, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program.
The bill would also prohibit the Veterinary Medical Board from disciplining, or denying, revoking, or suspending the license of, a licensed veterinarian solely for discussing the use of cannabis on an animal for medicinal purposes, absent negligence or incompetence. The bill would require the board to adopt guidelines for these discussions on or before January 1, 2020, and would require the board to post the guidelines on its Internet Web site.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4883 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4883.
 The board may deny, revoke, or suspend a license or registration or assess a fine as provided in Section 4875 for any of the following:
(a) Conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of veterinary medicine, surgery, or dentistry, in which case the record of the conviction shall be conclusive evidence.
(b) For having professional connection with, or lending the licensee’s or registrant’s name to, any illegal practitioner of veterinary medicine and the various branches thereof.
(c) Violation or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, any of the provisions of this chapter.
(d) Fraud or dishonesty in applying, treating, or reporting on tuberculin or other biological tests.
(e) Employment of anyone but a veterinarian licensed in the state to demonstrate the use of biologics in the treatment of animals.
(f) False or misleading advertising.
(g) Unprofessional conduct, that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Conviction of a charge of violating any federal statutes or rules or any statute or rule of this state regulating dangerous drugs or controlled substances. The record of the conviction is conclusive evidence thereof. A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this section. The board may order the license or registration to be suspended or revoked, or assess a fine, or decline to issue a license or registration, when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4, 1210.1, or 3063.1 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment.
(2) (A) The use of or prescribing for or administering to himself or herself, any controlled substance.
(B) The use of any of the dangerous drugs specified in Section 4022, or of alcoholic beverages to the extent, or in any manner as to be dangerous or injurious to a person licensed or registered under this chapter, or to any other person or to the public, or to the extent that the use impairs the ability of the person so licensed or registered to conduct with safety the practice authorized by the license or registration.
(C) The conviction of more than one misdemeanor or any felony involving the use, consumption, or self-administration of any of the substances referred to in this section or any combination thereof, and the record of the conviction is conclusive evidence.
A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this section. The board may order the license or registration to be suspended or revoked or assess a fine, or may decline to issue a license or registration, when the time for appeal has elapsed or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under Section 1203.4, 1210.1, or 3063.1 of the Penal Code allowing the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment.
(3) A violation of any federal statute, rule, or regulation or any of the statutes, rules, or regulations of this state regulating dangerous drugs or controlled substances.
(h) Failure to keep the licensee’s or registrant’s premises and all equipment therein in a clean and sanitary condition.
(i) Fraud, deception, negligence, or incompetence in the practice of veterinary medicine.
(j) Aiding or abetting in any acts that are in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.
(k) The employment of fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in obtaining the license or registration.
(l) The revocation, suspension, or other discipline by another state or territory of a license, certificate, or registration to practice veterinary medicine or as a veterinary technician in that state or territory.
(m) Cruelty to animals, conviction on a charge of cruelty to animals, or both.
(n) Disciplinary action taken by any public agency in any state or territory for any act substantially related to the practice of veterinary medicine or the practice of a veterinary technician.
(o) Violation, or the assisting or abetting violation, of any regulations adopted by the board pursuant to this chapter.
(p) Accepting, soliciting, or offering any form of remuneration from or to a cannabis licensee if the veterinarian or his or her immediate family have a financial interest with the cannabis licensee. For purposes of this subdivision, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Cannabis licensee” shall have the same meaning as “licensee” in Section 26001.
(2) “Financial interest” shall have the same meaning as in Section 650.01.
(q) Discussing medicinal cannabis with a client while the veterinarian is employed by, or has an agreement with, a cannabis licensee. For purposes of this subdivision, “cannabis licensee” shall have the same meaning as “licensee” in Section 26001.
(r) Distributing any form of advertising for cannabis in California.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4884 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

4884.
 (a) A licensee shall not dispense or administer cannabis or cannabis products to an animal patient.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law and absent negligence or incompetence, a veterinarian licensed under this chapter shall not be disciplined by the board or have his or her license denied, revoked, or suspended solely for discussing the use of cannabis on an animal for medicinal purposes.
(c) On or before January 1, 2020, the board shall adopt guidelines for veterinarians to follow when discussing cannabis within the veterinarian-client-patient relationship. These guidelines shall be posted on the board’s Internet Web site.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.