HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houstonian Zahid Qayum has been using a liquid form of medical marijuana for several months to help him manage a motor neuron disease he has, which causes him to lose strength in his arms and legs.
"That is something that regular medication hasn't helped at all. It has helped me. It hasn't killed it but alleviates some of the symptoms," Qayum said.
For months, the medical marijuana has been delivered to his home, but now, the company where he gets it from has opened three temporary dispensary sites in Houston for patients to pick up at their convenience. Compassionate Cultivation is bringing a first of its kind temporary medical marijuana site to Houston.
"With 600 patients or more that becomes pretty problematic to have to deliver to each of those homes," Compassionate Cultivation CEO Morris Denton said.
Houston is the company's largest market. They deliver the product from their facilities near Austin to two dispensaries in Houston and one in Katy.
Denton says, "they (patients) can come meet us at time that makes sense to them."
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed some challenges, though. Although they're deemed essential, they can't benefit from any stimulus funds because they're federally illegal. Regardless, they continue to work to provide medical marijuana to patients.
"This is real medicine. This isn't about getting high, it's about getting healthy," says Denton.
For Qayum, he's grateful for the temporary sites to open, so he can pick up his prescription on his own time.
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'First of its kind' temporary medical marijuana sites open in Houston area