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South Carolina’s Restrictive Medical Marijuana Bill Raises Concern

Medical cannabis regulations concept

South Carolina’s Restrictive Medical Marijuana Bill Raises Concern

South Carolina state continues on with its age-old debate on medical marijuana. This year’s version of the Senate bill reintroduces the proposal that formerly met its end in the Statehouse back in 2023. This bill, if passed, is projected to be the most restrictive cannabis law across the country.

A Conservative State’s Medical Cannabis Bill

State Senator Tom Davis (R, Beaufort and Jasper), the author of the bill, noted that South Carolina’s proposal is certainly not akin to the liberal cannabis bills in states such as California or Colorado. He described his creation as a conservative state’s medical cannabis bill, accentuating the heavy involvement of medical professionals and the layers of regulations.

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Ten years into his journey striving for legalizing medical cannabis, Senator Davis now sees his version of the Compassionate Care Act on the debate table of the House, open for amendments and discussions.

Specific Conditions and Restrictions

If successful, South Carolina would become one of the 38 states where medical marijuana is legal. However, Senator Davis’ bill is heavily restricted, permitting access only to patients diagnosed with specific conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, autism, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and sickle cell anemia amongst others. Another critical aspect of the bill is its directive against smoking medicinal cannabis, encouraging patients to resort to methods such as patches, oils, vaporizers or salves.

The Senator said this decision was a result of his discussions with state law enforcement. Despite opposition suggesting that the law could trigger an uptick in recreational usage, proponents have refuted such claims.

Concerns Over Restrictions

Retired cannabis nurse, Mike Harvey, who specialized in cannabis science and therapeutics, voices concerns over some of the bill’s restrictions. In accordance with the bill, patients would need to pay for fingerprints and background checks conducted by both the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Additionally, patients aged between 18 and 23 will need a secondary physician’s approval, not just one.

Harvey noted that albeit highly restricted, the bill would still benefit a select number of South Carolina residents who meet the requirements. However, the bill features a five-year sunset clause and would require another round of legislative discussions to continue.


South Carolina's Restrictive Medical Marijuana Bill Raises Concern

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