Mom caring for son with Dravet Syndrome feels hopeful with dispensary coming

DAVENPORT, Iowa — With a medical marijuana dispensary coming down the pike a local family is getting hopeful.

Tina McDermott has a 12-year-old son, Ryan, with Dravet Syndrome. Ryan was diagnosed when he was six years old, but has experienced seizures since he was just two months old.
After being diagnosed, Tina said she started fighting for access to cannabis-based medical products.

In May of 2014 Iowa passed a law that allowed people to use and possess cannabis oil.  
“That was somewhat frustrating,” said Tina, “I could have it, but there was no place to get anything.”  During that time, Tina would have to cross state lines to get cannabis oil for her son.
“We were really really close to moving to Colorado,” she said.

In 2017, Iowa’s medical marijuana laws evolved, and three companies were given licenses to open dispensaries around the state.

“Have A Heart Compassion Care,” based out of Seattle, became licensed for Davenport.  Leaders said their plans were to take over the Kelly’s Irish Pub building, which they leased from the owners.

The dispensary is set to open December 1st.

When the news came out, Tina said her son Ryan wasn’t being treated with any cannabis-based products, but that they had tried them in the past, and may again need them in the future.

“We’re still trying to find the right thing but I mean, a dispensary being here is going to be a good thing and easier to access,” she said.

For Ryan, Tina said the main goal is to get his seizures under control, in hopes of allowing his brain to further develop.