Family who relocated for cannabis extract considers coming home after new law passes

Posted at 10:14 PM, Mar 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-15 00:14:04-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Farmington family who moved to Colorado to get cannabis oil for their epileptic son now has the chance to come home to Utah.

David and Mandi Cromar are celebrating a bill that would give parents legal access to cannabis oil in Utah.

Now that House Bill 105 has passed, the Cromars are talking about coming home but said they have a lot to consider. Meanwhile, other families feel they no longer have to uproot their lives for cannabidiol, or CBD, oil.

Just three months ago, the Cromars sold their Farmington home and moved to Colorado Springs for legal access to cannabidiol oil, which is extracted from “Charlotte’s Web,” a special breed of cannabis that is high in CBD but low in psychoactive THC. The oil is for their 6-year-old son, Holden, who has a rare form of epilepsy and suffers clustered seizures.

However, when House Bill 105 passed the Utah legislature allowing parents to possess CBD oil without fear of prosecution, "We were really excited and very surprised," said David Cromar, Holden’s father.

"I'd love to come home, I seriously would love to come home," said Mandi Cromar, Holden’s mom.

However, the Cromars know returning home isn’t so simple. They're still on a waiting list in Colorado just to try CBD oil. Right now, Holden is using a similar non-psychoactive cannabis extract that's getting results, his parents said. He now has about half of those clustered seizures.

"So we're seeing some reduction,” David said. “And as we work him up on this and find seizure control with the THC-A, we really would have second thoughts of taking him off something that's working to try the CBD."

"I think I would be willing to try it just for that chance to go home," Mandi said

The Cromars are both conflicted, yet patient and their situation hinges on how flexible Utah's law is and whether Governor Herbert signs it as expected. Neon Trees bassist Branden Campbell and his wife Emilie have a 6-year-old son, Connor, who suffers from epilepsy.

"He has about 100 a day and it's debilitating for him," said Emilie Campbell. "We spent some time last fall, last September, looking at apartments in Colorado wondering if that's something we were going to have to do."

Instead, Emilie Campbell joined other moms fighting for HB 105 in Utah and they won. Just talking about it choked up Branden.

"Sacrifice like this for their kids and all the kids, it's awesome," Branden said.

Gov. Herbert is expected to sign HB 105 March 25. The Campbells said once it takes effect on July 1, they'll be able to see if cannabis oil works for their son and they're grateful they didn't have to uproot their lives.

As for the Cromars, they plan on waiting until at least the fall, possibly trying CBD oil, then determining if it’s best to come home to Utah.