Pot dog

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

Is medical marijuana safe for pets?

—Buds MacKenzie

According to a preponderance of the anecdotal evidence: Yes. There aren’t really any published scientific studies (marijuana is still federally illegal), but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of pet owners who claim that marijuana, especially marijuana high in CBD, has helped their dogs with a variety of ailments. According to a survey from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, 72 percent of respondents had given their pets a form of medicinal marijuana, and 58 percent said cannabis was effective and helpful. Speaking of surveys, the good people at the UC Davis are also doing a survey about cannabis and pets. If you want to be involved, visit the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s website (www.ahvma.org).

Cats and dogs (and all mammals, apparently) have endocannabinoid systems and cannabis receptors, so it stands to reason that your mammalian pets, especially the older ones, could indeed benefit from small doses of medical marijuana. Of course, you should talk to your vet. Even though veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe or even recommend cannabis, they may have some insight and advice. Oh, and don’t blow weed smoke into your pet’s nose. It’s rude. Have a good one.

So, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has just released the new regulations. What do you think?

—Cap I. Talist

I think it’s a good start. There are things to like: event producer licenses (yay farmers markets!), reasonable packaging rules, maybe a few other things. But there are also some ridiculous things: The 100 miligram THC limit on edibles (goodbye Korova 1,000 miligram Black Bar) and the rule that says you can’t make cannabis coffee drinks, although my outlaw side knows that there are umpteen different ways around this. Those are annoying, but workaround-able. Some other things are unsettling: Hezekiah Allen from the Emerald Growers Association called the decision to allow giant commercial farms right away a “catastrophe.” My biggest peeve is incredibly high fees that small business owners will have to pay just to get into the game. It’s a minimum of $5,000 for a state license, whether you have a small farm, tincture business or you just want to throw a few cannabis parties in your fancy house. Five thousand dollars is a lot of money. Add that to the fact that super large companies don’t have to pay nearly as big of a percentage, it would seem that the money and the suits are doing their best to keep smaller businesses from even getting started. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a company expecting to make $80 million would only have to pay $125,000 in fees. This is not cool at all. Some of my industry homies say it could be worse, but I say it needs to be much better. However, this is just the beginning, and I am optimistic that things will improve.