On Jan. 10, 2017, a bipartisan group of South Carolina lawmakers, led by Sen. Tom Davis, introduced a bill to the state Senate to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of medical marijuana for patients suffering from certain debilitating medical conditions.
Before Senate Bill 212, known as the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, was introduced in the Senate, several of the bill’s co-sponsors held a press conference at the State House to discuss the details of it.
“The people who spoke today at the press conference could not be farther apart politically on just about every other issue that comes before the Legislature, and yet we’re coming together on this one,” said State Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, to WSOC-TV.
If the bill is passed and signed by the governor, the Department of Health and Environmental Control would be responsible for creating and implementing the state’s medical marijuana program.
Physicians would be able to certify patients suffering from the following conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, post-traumatic stress disorder, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, cachexia, neural-tube defects, debilitating pain, severe nausea, seizures, neurological disorders, multiple sclerosis and other conditions characterized by severe and persistent muscle spasms.
The bill would permit 15 cultivation center registrations, 30 processing facility registrations, five independent testing laboratory registrations and one dispensary registration for every 10 pharmacies in the state.
While Gov. Nikki Haley signed legislation in 2014 that legalized CBD oil for patients with certain types of epilepsy, the legislation did not create a mechanism for cultivation. In 2016, lawmakers rejected a bill that that would have legalized an operational medical marijuana program in the state, citing fears of diversion and recreational legalization.
Upon today’s introduction of SB 212, the bill was referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.