Young epilepsy and cancer patients in Florida are now allowed to use a special strain of marijuana pioneered in Colorado.
Gov. Rick Scott signed the measure Monday. He opposes' Florida's constitutional amendment to allow the use of medical marijuana, but said in a statement that he does not want to see "kids suffer."
The special strain is called Charlotte's Web. It was pioneered by five brothers in eastern Colorado, who manufacture an oil from plants very low in THC and high in a chemical called cannabidiol, or CBD.
The brothers recently expanded their operation and considered the possibility of exporting their product because Colorado law classifies the plants with less than .03 percent THC as hemp instead of medical marijuana.
The drug's first patient and namesake, Charlotte Figi, from Black Forest, is now 7-years-old. Her mother says she was close to death before starting the drug due to Dravet Syndrome, a devastating form of pediatric epilepsy.
Paige Figi, Charlotte's mother, said she originally doubted the oil would work, but found the Stanley brothers, who were already experimenting with it.
Figi said at that time, more than two years ago, Charlotte couldn't walk, talk or eat, and was having about 1,200 seizures a month. She said after taking a few drops of Charlotte's Web every day, her daughter saw astounding improvement.
Now, she said Charlotte is down to four or fewer nocturnal seizures a month, and can walk, play and speak.
"It's been amazing to hear her talking and interacting with me," Figi said during a 7NEWS interview in May. "I can't even put into words what that means to me."
Scott said in a statement that the approval of the bill will ensure that children will have the "medication needed to improve their quality of life."