It is illegal to use cannabis in South Carolina, except for prescribed cannabidiol (CBD) products. Even then, access to these products are not readily available in the state, even though a 2014 law allows doctors to prescribe and patients to use CBD.
There has been a lot of debate over the legalization of medical marijuana, but folks in the Palmetto State appear to be warming to the idea. In 2016, a majority of residents who answered a Winthrop University/The State poll favored medical marijuana legalization. In summer 2018, about 82 percent of Democratic voters also backed access to medical cannabis when asked by a non-binding advisory question on the primary ballot.
Republican state Sen. Tom Davis, who crafted the legislation for CBD oil use that became law in 2014, has been championing legislation for medical marijuana in recent years. In 2017, he and fellow South Carolina Republican Rep. Peter McCoy brought forth the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, which would allow qualified patients access to medical cannabis to treat debilitating conditions. It also included guidelines for regulating and licensing facilities that cultivated, processed, tested and sold cannabis. While the bill received House and Senate committee approval, it never went to a floor vote, according to the Greenville News.
Davis sounded undeterred and said he plans to push for medical cannabis legalization in 2019.
South Carolina planned to expand the number of farmers who can grow hemp from 20 to 40 in 2019, under the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program approved by lawmakers in 2017.
The program allows farmers to grow industrial hemp for various products, including oil and textiles.
to Be to Consume?
The law states the patients can use products from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved maker of CBD.
Only qualified patients may consume cannabis, provided it has less than 15% of CBD and less than 0.09% of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to treat specific conditions, including severe epilepsy.
Qualified patients and their designated caregivers may possess CBD products with a doctor’s written certification.
Medical Marijuana Registry
South Carolina allows for patients to consume CBD for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or any other severe form of epilepsy that is not adequately treated by available medical therapies.
The patient must have the above conditions and written certification from a state-licensed doctor.
The patient’s parents, legal guardians, or other caretakers who have a state-licensed physician’s certification in writing are qualified as designated caregivers.
This page was last updated on February 26, 2019.