Summerland family awaiting Charlotte Web's Canadian arrival

Kyla will soon have access to Charlotte's Web sold in Canada.
Kyla will soon have access to Charlotte's Web sold in Canada.

The New Year can't come soon enough for Elaine Nuessler and her husband Chris. 

For the past eight years, the Summerland couple has been fighting to give what their granddaughter needs — a CBD oil extracted from a Cannabis plant named Charlotte's Web. 

Charlotte's Web became famous several years ago when evidence showed it can help prevent epileptic seizures in children. It's originally from Colorado. Other growers in Canada have tried but failed to duplicate it. 

The Nuessler's granddaughter, Kyla, used to have hundreds of seizures a da until they began giving her Charlotte's Web. The seizures are still there, but nowhere nearly as often. 

The Nuesslers have been vocal proponents of Charlotte's Web being available in Canada — and it is, but there's a lot of red tape involved because they have to buy it from Colorado.  

"It has to go through Canadian Border Services, inspected and if it's not looking right, they'll hold it. So lots of families are often in a panic situation when ordering it through Colorado," Nuessler said. 

She remembers a recent close call when Kyla ended up in hospital with major seizures -- and they were running out of CBD oil.

"Border Services called us saying, 'oh we haven't received a certain form'. So I resent it and the wrong person got it. They gave us so much grief." 

Nuessler said it took two weeks for the oil to clear the border, "when we were at the bottom of the CBD oil bottle. We were in a panic to get it and it finally came but this is a situation that we can avoid if it's already in Canada."  

The Nuesslers' advocacy and from Canadian families has paid off.  She said Health Canada has reached out to the creators of Charlotte's Web in Colorado and that distribution should commence in Canada as early as January 2023 — avoiding the hassle of getting it through the border.

"Having them come to Canada is monumental," Nuessler said. 

But another hurdle remains. Even though recreational marijuana is legal in Canada, using Cannabis for medical reasons still requires a doctor's approval. And that includes Kyla. 

"We must have our doctor sign for it and re-establish that her condition hasn't changed and that she still needs that oil. But that process is cumbersome."

Kyla will be nine years old this February. 

READ MORE: Penticton family with epileptic child wants law allowing her to use medical marijuana

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