Times Union: On the road to greater treatment

Nine-year-old Haley Hilt rarely slept, hardly interacted or played with her siblings and couldn’t walk or feed herself.

The seizures Haley has suffered from since she was about a month old have been debilitating, requiring over a dozen different anti-epileptic medications, special diets and even neurosurgery – all doing nothing to help alleviate the challenges the East Schodack child endured on a daily basis.

But after roughly nine months of using liquid-based medical marijuana for Haley’s epilepsy – recently legalized in New York State – her quality of life has improved.

“Since starting it, her seizures have decreased by approximately 75 percent,” Haley’s mother Melissa Hilt said. “She is now taking steps, she’s attempting to feed herself and she said her first word. It’s truly been a miracle for us.”

Vireo Health of New York opened its fourth medical marijuana dispensary in the state Sunday on Fuller Road in Colonie, ensuring that the Hilts – who previously travelled three hours one-way to the Vireo location in White Plains – and other patients dedicated to the company have a closer spot to secure the medication. It also has offices in White Plains, Binghamton and Queens.

The Fuller Road location is the third medical marijuana dispensary to open in the Capital Region this year. Others include PharmaCannis in Guilderland and Etain in Albany.

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