As second store prepares to open in Pooler, family shares how medical cannabis helped their young son

Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 4:09 PM EDT
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POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - A second medical cannabis dispensary is set to open on Wednesday after becoming legal recently.

As final preparations are made, Botanical Sciences medical cannabis dispensary is almost ready for business in Pooler.

“Our entire journey is about how do we get this medicinal treatment to the patients in the state of Georgia and this particular region,” Botanical Sciences CEO Gary Long said.

It’ll be the second dispensary in the city, after Trulieve opened its doors earlier this month.

“To have this right here in our city is amazing and I’m glad it’s going to be a service to allow our residents to feel better and get better,” Pooler Councilwoman Karen Williams said.

Long said all products are organic, lab-tested, and state regulated. After the grand opening Wednesday, those products will be more easily available for patients like Cooper King.

Cooper’s dad said the 11-year-old has Dravet Syndrome, which causes seizures and gave him a life expectancy of five to 12 years.

“We used up all of our options. We went to Savannah and talked to every pediatric neurologist there was,” Cooper’s dad, Ryan King said.

Less than a year into Cooper’s life, his dad said it changed forever. And the lack of local options pushed them to try something different - medical cannabis.

“He was just having a rough day and we put drops in his mouth while he was having a seizure, put him back on his side and within 30 seconds, he was out of it,” Ryan King said.

They used it as an emergency option before finding something more accessible, but King said these new dispensaries in Pooler might bring them back to THC treatments. Something he’s been recommending to others since it helped his son.

“He’s led me to places and met up with different families who we can help and that’s the key to life right there,” King said.

Treatments from Botanical Sciences are not typically covered by insurance, but the dispensary will offer free consultations to families, like the Kings, to find what works best for patients, like Cooper.