At 13 years old, Darrell Johns of Macon weighed just 40 pounds and endured at least five seizures a week, said his mom and full-time caregiver Leslie Johns. “I was having to crush 17 pills a day to run through his G tube, and he was still having seizures,” she said. “And the Diastat, which is Valium, that I would have to give him as a rescue, it would make him sleep for days because he was so tiny, and it made him so groggy.”

Now 21, Darrell, who family members call Peanut, is doing much better, Johns said. He started taking medical cannabis in 2015 and went without a single seizure for more than a year. But Johns and other caregivers say recent glitches have led to problems getting or renewing medical cannabis cards in Georgia.

After years of courtroom and legislative back-and-forth, the first legal dispensaries opened in Georgia this year. The state law allows products that contain a low amount of THC, the chemical that gets marijuana users high.

Patients must be diagnosed with one of a list of specific serious conditions and renew their licenses every two years. Johns said she filed to renew her card in April ahead of its June expiration, but despite calls to the Georgia Department of Public Health and the cooperation of Darrell’s doctor, she has yet to get the card.