MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Five-year-old Bruno Delgadillo could be the poster child for Florida’s slowness in getting medical marijuana to those who need it.
The boy suffers severe, possibly life-threatening seizures that low-dose marijuana can control.
His mom, waiting on state approval, at one point took her son to Colorado where pot is legal.
“Because my family lives here in Florida, and I didn’t have the support like I do here, I had to come back,” said Bruno’s mother, Jacel Delgadillo.
But finally a package arrived Wednesday.
Bruno’s first bottle of liquid, low-dose pot that doesn’t cause a high, but can contain his seizures.
“I’ve been fighting for his medical cannabis since 2013. It’s been a battle,” Delgadillo said. “It’s very frustrating. I’ve met parents that have lost their children along the way, just waiting.”
The legislature approved the so-called Charlotte’s Web drug in 2014, but it took nearly two years to even begin getting the treatment to patients.
A law passed in 2015 allowing more powerful pot pills for the terminally ill has dragged its way into practice as well, and the state has just begun to consider rules after voters last year approved full-strength pot to treat a host of illnesses.
Adam Sharon of Knox Medical, one of only three companies licensed to produce medical marijuana in the state, said lawmakers and regulators don’t want Florida to become a marijuana “wild west.”
“They’re thinking of California, they’re thinking of Colorado and they don’t want that here,” Sharon said. “The governor and health officials are moving very, very carefully.”
Sharon said he believes attitudes in Tallahassee are easing and medical pot will begin to move more quickly to patients.
For Jacel Delgadillo and her son, relief has finally arrived.
“I don’t have to be fighting for his medicine anymore, I don’t have to be convincing people that this is what he needs,” Delgadillo said.
For countless other patients, however, the painful wait for pot that can help drags on.
The use of full-strength medical pot, approved by more than 70 percent of Florida voters in November, will go nowhere until after the legislature lays down the law on just how it will be enacted.