Joy was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January, and veterinary cancer specialists presented Griffin with a range of treatment options, from anti-inflammatory drugs to chemotherapy and radiation ("I was told it would be close to $7,000").
Instead, she took the advice of a neighbor who had recovered from cancer surgery with the help of medical marijuana. "She suggested that I try something like that for Joy." Griffin used her friend's connections to get into a dispensary, and she is currently spending about $120 a month on various so-called cannabidiols, or CBDs, which she mixes into Joy's food. "Look at her," Griffin said, stroking the healthy-looking dog sitting beside her. "She eats well, she as a lot of energy, and I think she's doing well."
The ASPCA and PETA will not endorse medical cannabis for animals due to a lack of research, and veterinarians cannot prescribe it. Owners have to obtain it on their own, and it's unclear how big the business is.
"I have said this is a multimillion dollar idea," said Vaughn Hirschkorn of Eden's Cure. He makes one of the products Griffin uses, Kannakrill. Hirschkorn is a long-time user of medical marijuana and caregiver. He decided to make a pet pot product after his son's cat fell ill. "I said, 'Here's some CBD capsules, break them open and put them in the cat's food.' ... Within a half hour the cat started eating again." Hirschkorn said he uses "non-detectable" levels of THC in Kannakrill. "I don't believe in getting pets high."
However, Hirschkorn is not a veterinarian.