‘Saved my son’s life’: Dispensary owner fears Florida bill would hurt businesses, families

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill is headed to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk that would ban Delta-8 THC products like vapes and edibles.

Matthew Wetzel owns LGH Dockside Dispensary.

“It would absolutely destroy my business, there’s no doubt about it,” he explained.

He pointed to dozens of products tucked away under glass saying, “Really, everything in this showcase is going to be gone.”

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Wetzel told 8 On Your Side if the bill gets signed into law, it could be the end for his small business.

The bill already passed both the Florida House of Representatives and Senate.

It would ban Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC products and limit any products like vapes, edibles and even gum that contain “hemp extract” to only be sold to adults over the age of 21.

Rep. Tommy Gregory, a Republican representing the Lakewood Ranch area said, “It is a message to the hemp industry and farmers that if you want to grow industrial hemp, that’s fine, but we’re not about you producing and selling recreational drugs all around this state.”

But Wetzel said it’s that alternative medicine that saved his son’s life.

“My son Jamison was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy at 2 years old,” he said. “All of the hospitals we went to told us he was going it die.”

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He explained one day, he was sitting in a hospital cafeteria watching the news and it was at that moment, he noticed the letters “CBD” on the television for the first time.

After doing some research, he uprooted his family, moving out to Colorado.

“Within two months of Jamison being out there, he was seizure-free and hasn’t had a seizure since,” Wetzel explained. “He’s now 12 years old, he’ll be 13 in May.”

Now as his son lives another day, he’s worried for the future.

“Not only does this bill destroy businesses, tens of millions of dollars, but it also is a way to unprotect the parents that were giving their children cannabidiol or hemp-derived products for alternative medication that somebody like my son needed,” he explained.

If DeSantis signs this bill into law, it would go into effect on Oct. 1.

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