The first medical marijuana dispensary in Texas to allow epilepsy patients to fill their prescriptions in person is now open. One of the first to do so in Manchaca, south of Austin was a two-year-old boy.
Oscar Wilkens had his first seizure when he was five months old.
Physical therapy and diet have helped, but the medication Oscar takes creates other complications.
“It can decrease muscle tone. He already has low muscle tone. It can slow down your thinking and make you tired and groggy. He already has problems with cognition,” says father Todd Wilkens.
At the grand opening for the state’s second medical marijuana dispensary, his mother Christy became one of the first in Texas to fill a prescription for low THC cannabis oil. Eager to see if it can prevent his seizures, without the serious side effects.
“I’m happy that this day has finally come for Texas,” she said.
Oscar’s neurologist and the medical director for Compassionate Cultivation Doctor Karen Keough says epilepsy patients are clamoring to try the oil but warns fewer than half could see a meaningful benefit, probably a realistic expectation about ten percent will get full control at best. It’s a pretty low number, but if you’re in that ten percent, then that’s awesome, right?”
This evening Oscar received his first dose. Now his family waits to see what it does.
“I guess I’m cautiously optimistic and hopeful it works for him,” Christy said.
In Texas, only epilepsy patients currently have access to legalized medical marijuana. Licensed dispensaries will deliver to patients in North Texas, who get a prescription and place an order.