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NC family heading home after marijuana oil legalized

Posted June 27

— Liz Gorman moved from Raleigh to Colorado last December so her daughter could obtain a treatment for her seizures. With word that the treatment will soon be legal in North Carolina, she said Friday that she can't wait to return home.

State lawmakers on Thursday passed legislation permitting the use of CBD oil for the treatment of seizure disorders in children, and Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to sign the bill into law next week.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana. The plants that produce the compound have been genetically engineered to produce almost no THC, the psychoactive compound that makes people high.

The treatment is already legal in Colorado, but North Carolina lawmakers had to be convinced that they weren't opening the door to medical marijuana in this state before legalizing it here.

Seven-year-old Maddie Gorman had 80 to 100 seizures a day before taking the CBD oil, and her mother said she can now make it through some days with as few as five seizures.

Gorman's husband stayed behind in Raleigh for work, and she said the separation has been hard.

"We've been here alone, just Maddie and I. I don't have any help," she said. "To be able to live in our home with my husband, Maddie's dad, again, it's going to be amazing."

"I'm very excited for them," Steve Carlin said. "In a way, almost a little more excited for them than I am for myself right now because I can't imagine begin separated from my wife."

Carlin and his wife, Dawn, have remained in Clayton, dealing with their daughter's seizures and fighting for passage of the CBD oil legislation. Five-year-old Zora Carlin has a rare, hard-to-treat and debilitating form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome and experiences up to 60 seizures a day.

"I believe this is going to really change her life," Steve Carlin said of the new treatment.

Families who want access to CBD oil must register, along with their neurologists, with the state Department of Health and Human Services.

DHHS must have rules in place for regulation of the treatment by Oct. 1, but neurologists can begin bringing it in from Colorado or another state where it's legal to produce as soon as the rules are approved. Agency officials declined to speculate Friday on when the rules would be ready, saying they're still reviewing the bill.

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