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How This Cannabis Entrepreneur Saved Hundreds of Kids' Lives | NowThis

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In a country where cannabis is federally banned and the legality of medical use is patchy, parents of children with cancer have been turning to this advocate and entrepreneur for her live-saving cannabis oils.
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In US news and current events today, Mara Gordon is a cannabis advocate and entrepreneur from Santa Rosa, CA. In 2010, Gordon began making cannabis oil after her husband had back surgery and didn’t want to be on opioids, She quickly became a resource for parents and children with cancer in a country where cannabis is federally banned, and legalized medical cannabis is patchy.

‘And then a few months later, a family came to me with a 6-year-old little girl that had a brain tumor. And that’s when everything changed. That was when we decided to go from just infused oils to also making extracts. Because of the high dosage that she was gonna require, we needed to concentrate it down into a way that she could take it with much less volume.’

Gordon started her company Aunt Zelda’s in 2011 to alleviate patients’ suffering with medical cannabis.

‘Word got out that we were making extracts to help cancer kids and cancer patients, and they started coming to us. They speak in waiting rooms, they talk online, and, you know, and it just blossomed from there.’

Gordon says she’s directly saved hundreds of children with Aunt Zelda’s full-spectrum cannabis extracts and indirectly helped thousands with her expertise.

Gordon was featured in the 2018 Ricki Lake- produced documentary ‘Weed the People.’ The film followed the stories of 5 families treating various forms of pediatric cancer over the course of 5 years.

‘There was a little girl that came to us, and the doctors had said, ‘There’s no point in doing chemo. There’s nothing, it’s—it’s her—where the—where the tumor is, we can’t reach it, it’s just keeping her comfortable until she dies. The mother reached out to me, and at the time, we weren’t taking on anymore people, ‘cause it was just my husband and me and we didn’t have, I mean, we just didn’t have the capacity. And she begged me. She was like, ‘Please? I beg you. My daughter’s, you know, beating her head against the wall in pain, trying to make the pain go away. And she was 2 years old, so we made an exception and we provided her the oil. She went into the doctor for a checkup and the doctor said, ‘There’s somethin’ goin’ on here, I think it’s worth taking a look.’ And they started the chemo and doing the treatment with her. And that was 2000—the beginning—I think that was February of 2014, maybe a little earlier. Child’s great, she’s fine, she’s in remission, she’s in school, she’s having a full life. And to see a little girl go from being in such pain that she’s beating her head against the wall to being in remission, in school years later, that’s pretty huge.’

Gordon still believes in the power of whole-plant medicine to treat people with cancer and other conditions. She’s currently working with a U.S.-based medical cannabis company to develop a cannabis formula for children living with autism.

‘Zelda Therapeutics is in the process of merging with Ilera Therapeutics. It’s a Pennsylvania-based company, and we’re actually in clinical trials right now at CHOP [The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia], Zelda Therapeutics is, for autism study, which is very exciting.’

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