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Vets invited to ‘medical cannabis for pets’ education event

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

Leading the development of some of the world’s first clinically trialled and registered cannabis medicines for pets, Hale Animal Health is inviting the country’s vets to take a tour of New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis facility.

Part-owned by medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, Hale Animal Health is set to host veterinarians at its joint headquarters. Those in attendance will hear more about the future of cannabidiol-based (CBD) products for New Zealand’s pets as well as first-hand international insights.

An update will be provided on the extensive R&D work now underway in the quest for Hale’s CBD veterinary-prescribed medicines to achieve approval by the country’s regulator, Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM), part of New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries.

Cannabinoids in pet health: Veterinarians attend the presentation at Helius Therapeutics

In anticipation of bringing these medicines to market, Hale is presenting a keynote speaker with extensive knowledge and experience in ‘cannabis for pets’ to kick off the education process for New Zealand’s vet industry. The evening will also see Hale launch its latest natural supplements range for cats and dogs, Best Life.

“The veterinarians will get an exclusive VIP tour of Helius’ massive 8,800sqm state-of-the-art indoor facility and hear from a US-based vet experienced in treating pets with cannabis. It will be a fascinating night and I suspect a first for our country’s vets,” says Leila de Koster, Managing Director of Hale Animal Health.

Dr Casara Andre

Founder and Director of Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting, Dr Casara Andre will present via videoconference from Denver, Colorado.

The evening will kick off at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 29 June at Helius Therapeutics in East Tamaki, Auckland.

Vets interested in attending can enquire via email:

The evening will also see Helius Therapeutics Chief Executive, Carmen Doran, speak on New Zealand’s emerging cannabis industry and her company’s partnership with Hale.

“Our shared goal of delivering cannabis therapeutics and medicines will be a game-changer for many Kiwi pet owners. While it’s a novel concept here, the sector is enjoying rapid growth globally. Hence, Hale’s work with Helius to obtain one of the world’s first official registrations of CBD prescription products for pets is incredibly exciting,” says Ms Doran.

Hale and Helius’ development of CBD clinically proven products, that vets can prescribe with confidence, is a good fit. The executive leadership team at Helius boasts considerable animal health talent and experience, with Hale’s CBD product development and delivery for pets enabled by the country’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme.

Ms de Koster says obtaining registration for approved medicinal cannabis products for pets requires considerable data and clinical trials over the next couple of years.

Leila de Koster, Managing Director of Hale Animal Health

“CBD is highly effective for treating the likes of pain and inflammation in humans, and it’s no different for animals. Overseas it’s used with great effect to treat the likes of pets’ anxiety, stress, nausea, skin conditions, arthritis, and seizures,” says Ms de Koster.

She says it’s important to start informing the country’s vets now as to what’s coming down the track. Veterinarian knowledge, and gaining their confidence, is key to ensuring desperate owners can one day access CBD products to alleviate their pets’ pain and suffering naturally.

Hale’s research and development will also fill an international void of clinical information, with the efficacy of CBD products for pets about to become a lot clearer.

Popular with pet parents: Vitality Plus is a tasty natural animal health supplement

In the meantime, Hale has been busy supplying its Vitality Plus natural liquid supplements to various New Zealand vet clinics and pet specialty shops, including in PETstock stores.

Ms de Koster says Hale’s first range has quickly garnered support from the country’s cats and dogs. Owners too have got behind the local brand, with many keen to back the Kiwi company that will deliver CBD products to help their much-loved furry friends.

Soon, Hale will roll out its Best Life range which includes supplements, full of nutrients and superfoods. First to be released are products tailored specifically for adult and senior cats and dogs, with supplements for puppies, kittens, and active dogs to follow.

Helius Therapeutics in Auckland, home to Hale Animal Health

The Best Life range is a blend of premium oils including kiwifruit seed oil and New Zealand green shelled mussel as well as things like prebiotics for gut health and immunity, milk thistle to support liver function and cranberry to reduce bad bacteria in the urinary tract and teeth – just to name a few.

“We’re delighted with the early success of Vitality Plus and that the first round of our Best Life range will soon be available. The biggest day, however, will be when Hale invites the country’s vets back for the launch of our world leading medicinal cannabis products for pets,” says Leila de Koster.

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