DAVENPORT, Iowa – Medical marijuana has been legal since 2014 in Iowa, but until December 1st there’s been no places to legally buy it.
Tina McDermott has been waiting for this day so her 12-year-old son, Ryan McDermott, could hopefully get some relief from his everyday seizures. He has Dravet Syndrome, which is a rare and catastrophic form of epilepsy that is resistant to medication.
“He’s tried several maybe 15, 16, 17 different meds,” Tina explains. “I never would’ve thought you know cannabis oil.”
Now that medical marijuana is legal for purchase in Iowa, Tina has a new option.
“There are kids that have Dravet Syndrome that take cannabis and they go days and months and years seizure free,” says Tina. “I mean for him he’s not smoking it, it’s an oil and I’m just very comfortable with it.”
It’s more convenient than ever. Starting December 1st all she has to do is drive just minutes away right down the street to “Have a Heart Compassionate Care” in Davenport.
“I’ve never been in a dispensary before, so I’m really excited to see it and see what it’s all about,” Tina comments.
As she walks in she is immediately blown away learning about all the products, which gives her hope Ryan’s seizures may digress in the future.
“Whatever route I go he’s still probably going to be on a couple pharmaceuticals, but I would like to bring it down,” says Tina. “Try to get this controlled and trying to bring it down so he doesn’t have a lot of seizures.”
Now Tina may have all the pieces to the puzzle to hopefully help her son heal.
“Maybe he can’t walk or talk or do much of anything, but he smiles and he’s happy – that’s all I care about right now,” Tina emphasizes.
Tina doesn’t plan on trying cannabis for Ryan until February after a trial period with a current medication.
Medical marijuana is legal in 32 states including Iowa. There are now five dispensaries opened in Iowa with locations in Davenport, Sioux City, Waterloo, Windsor Heights and Council Bluffs.