Family 'counting the days' for medical cannabis for daughter with seizure disorder

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The turn of the new year has a Hibbing family eagerly awaiting July 1, the day Minnesota’s medical marijuana law takes effect.

“We are counting the days,” Angie Weaver wrote in an email to the Duluth News Tribune.

Her daughter Amelia, 8, has been diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy. The girl's disorder has progressively worsened. Her parents have found that most epilepsy medications don’t help her.

"They’ve pinned their hopes on medical marijuana," the newspaper said, noting that there is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana produced in Colorado has helped children diagnosed with the same disorder.

“When Minnesota passed the medical cannabis law, our family did not have to make the move to Colorado,” Weaver wrote. “During this year we’ve been working with Amelia’s neurologist to provide the best care until cannabis is available."

LeafLine Labs, one of two companies selected by the Minnesota Department of Health to manufacture and distribute medical marijuana, plans to have a distributor in Hibbing no later than July 1, 2016. Until then, the Weavers plan to make regular trips to the Twin Cities to get their daughter’s medication.

Meanwhile, the Business Journal reports that LeafLine Labs has closed on the purchase of a 24-acre Cottage Grove site and has started construction on its 42,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Leafline was started by members of the family that runs Bachman's Inc. garden centers.

The South Washington County Bulletin reported that ground has been broken on the facility and construction is underway there. The city sold the land to LeafLine for just over $3 million.

Leafline plans to grow the plants in Cottage Grove and distribute them through an outlet in Eagan.

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