The proposal would revive a research program (approved decades ago) allowing certain academic institutions to distribute cannabis to patients suffering from specific medical conditions, namely cancer and glaucoma.
The bill would permit approved academic medical centers [defined as a research hospital that operates a doctor residency program and conducts research] in the state to grow, process and distribute medical cannabis.
The measure – House Bill 885 – is known as the “Haleigh’s Hope Act,” named after Haleigh Cox, a child who suffers from a medical conditions that causes sever seizures. Representative Allen Peake, the primary sponsor of the measure, said he was prompted to draft the bill after meeting with Haleigh and her parents (seizures, cancer and glaucoma are the qualifying conditions to receive and use medical cannabis under this legislation).
“It means the world that they would open their hearts and hear our stories and the compassionate side of it, and let us make the choice as parents,” said Corey Lowe, a former law enforcement officer whose 12-year-old daughter Victoria was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, giving her up to 100 seizures a day. “It’s hope, that’s all it is. Hope, that’s what we’re fighting for.” Corey was one of many parents who cheered the committees vote.
House Bill 885 now heads towards a full House vote.