Jacel Delgadillo’s hopes for her 5-year-old son Bruno finally knocked on the door of her Fontainebleau apartment Wednesday.
The Nicaraguan mother received the first shipment of medical marijuana oil that will help control Bruno’s convulsions. Delgadillo paid $75 for the medication, and must give her son four drops three times a day for one month.
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Bruno has suffered seizures since he was 3 months old because of a rare form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. He gets a fever, followed by up to 300 seizures in a single day.
Delgadillo said cannabis with a low level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive agent in marijuana, is the only medication that controls the seizures without leaving him bedridden.
The use of this type of marijuana, which is not smoked, has been legal in Florida under the state’s Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. The law allows patients who suffer from seizures, severe muscle spasms or cancer to receive the low-THC cannabis, commonly known as Charlotte’s Web.
“I don’t want to see him like a vegetable. I want him to be a boy who plays with his sister, who crawls, who has a life,” said Delgadillo, an activist in Cannamoms, which lobbied lawmakers in 2014 for the legalization of medicinal marijuana.
Under the 2014 law, the companies authorized to grow, process and distribute medical marijuana in Florida began to distribute their product only last year because the state had to establish the regulations governing the new industry.
The authorized distributors are CHT Medical, The Green Solution, Trulieve, Surterra Therapeutics, Modern Health Concepts — the only one in Miami-Dade County — and Knox Medical.
“This was a whole new world for Florida, so it was a long process. That’s understandable, because all the regulations had to be followed,” said Adam Sharon, a spokesman for Knox Medical, which sent the medicine to Bruno’s home.
Under Amendment 2, passed in November by 71 percent of the state’s voters, others will be able to be treated with medical marijuana. The Amendment, which expands medical marijuana to patients with HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and other debilitating diseases, went into effect Tuesday. But while the law is official, the Florida Legislature and the state Department of Health still have to work out rules that will govern the state’s medical marijuana industry, delaying implementation.