South Carolina Senate Votes to Legalize Medical Cannabis

South Carolina’s Senate voted this week to legalize medical cannabis access for people diagnosed with specific debilitating illnesses, the Post and Courier reports.

Sponsored by state Sen. Tom Davis (R), the Compassionate Care Act of 2024 closely resembles a 2022 proposal that passed the Senate but was ultimately defeated in the lower chamber. House lawmakers are expected to once again represent a major obstacle for the medical cannabis reforms.

Davis has described the bill as the country’s “most conservative” approach to medical cannabis, the report said. Only people suffering from debilitating or terminal conditions including cancer, colitis, sickle cell anemia, or severe neurological diseases like epilepsy would be allowed to access the program laid out in the proposal. Additionally, smokeable flower products would not be allowed; rather, patients would have access to unflavored edibles, tinctures, and vaporizers.

Cannabis production and dispensing would be closely regulated, with state-issued medical cannabis production and manufacturing licenses. Additionally, only licensed pharmacists would be allowed to dispense cannabis products.

Davis says the bill is specifically structured to avoid the perceived notion that medical cannabis legalization is a stepping stone for broader, adult-use reforms. Cannabis consumption without a prescription would still be considered a felony under the proposal, and the program — if approved in its current form — would automatically end after five years unless lawmakers take action to renew it.

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South Carolina Senate Votes to Legalize Medical Cannabis

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