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Rarely can you trace the development of a prescription drug back to a single patient.
But when Evelyn Nussenbaum heard that cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound found in the cannabis plant, had been shown to prevent seizures in rats, she went on a mission to see if it could help her epileptic son, Sam.
The mission took her to an underground epilepsy collective, to homemade CBD that stunk up her friend's house, to London where a British pharmaceutical company agreed to let Sam try a CBD-derived multiple sclerosis drug they had and back to the United States where they convinced the FDA to let Sam enroll in a one-person drug trial.
Later this fall, Epidiolex, the drug Sam used, will hit shelves as the first FDA-approved prescription medication derived from marijuana.
Just about everyone was expecting this week to end with Derick Almena and Max Harris being officially sentenced to nine and six years in prison respectively, for their role in the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire that killed 36 people in 2016.