Thousands of people inquiring weekly about marijuana extract in Colorado
TELLER COUNTY, Colorado - For being one of Colorado's largest medical marijuana farms, it's rather quiet at the Stanley grow, but that's because they've stashed the phones elsewhere.
Each week, the Stanley grow is on the receiving end of nearly 4,000 phone calls.
"After the Sanjay Gupta piece on August 11th on CNN, we've been bombarded since then with media, with doctors, with universities, with patients and this has really taken off and exploded almost too quickly. So, we are running around hiring people, getting the right people, just to manage the intake," said Joel Stanley, who helped create Charlotte's Web.
Joel Stanley and five of his brothers created a strain of marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, which is processed into an extract high in CBD and low in THC, the component that gives users a high.
Some scientists believe CBD, or cannabidiol, calms the parts of the brain that cause seizures.
Holli Brown, who was one of the first people to move to Colorado to get the oil for her daughter, runs a private Facebook group that helps other parents, like her, who've committed to Colorado.
"When I got here in July, I can only really think of one parent that had actually relocated for cannabis here. About August, people just started pouring in. Our group started with about three of us online. There are 370 people in our group now," Brown said.
According to the Realm of Caring, the non-profit organization behind the grow that helps families obtain the oil for a reduced rate, there are 300 patients using the oil representing, at last count, 43 states. Another 300 patients are on a wait list in Colorado and another 2,000 people have signed up on a national and international registry.
"The influx of parents shows me that there is very little out there to treat epilepsy. I think that proves that. I don't think parents, most of the parents; probably all of them are not recreational medical marijuana. They probably didn't even vote for it. These are some conservative families. These are parents who are use to going to the pharmacy and picking up their medicine and having insurance pay for it. So, to do something so out of the box shows that this is pretty, these are pretty end of the line situations," said Paige Figi with the Realm of Caring.
News of what's taking place in Colorado is spreading quickly. On our trip to the grow, there were three other media outlets there; a TV crew from North Carolina, a group from Univision, a Spanish speaking network, and journalists from The Times, a publication in London.
"If Colorado really can genuinely craft a regime where it is properly regulated, it's taxed, organized crime is taken out of the equation and kids like Charlotte also benefit, then that is going to be a massively powerful message to send to the rest of the world," said Rhys Blakely, reporter for The Times.
While Charlotte's Web and the oil that comes from it has gained a lot of attention from both parents and media outlets, the Food and Drug Administration and other groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics are calling for more research.
The Stanley brothers are currently working on mouse models and double blind placebo clinical trials. Because of Colorado's state laws, the brothers don't anticipate having much more of a wait list because they'll soon be growing Charlotte's Web as hemp.