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South Carolina is one of the few states where both medical and recreational cannabis is still illegal. But state Sen. Tom Davis (R) is trying to change that with a revised bill he just introduced to legalize MMJ by the 2023 session.
On Jan. 19, the S.C. Compassionate Care Act sponsored by Davis was introduced and read for the first time in the Senate but it stagnated on the House floor due to a tax-related language issue, reported Marijuana Moment.
“The S.C. Compassionate Care Act has been thoroughly vetted over eight years and incorporates numerous provisions to address concerns,” Karen O’Keefe, of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) told MM. “Sen. Davis’s 2023 bill reflects years’ of input and removes the tax and revenue allocation provisions that derailed last year’s bill in the House.”
What’s In The Bill?
The amended legislation, which was referred to the State Committee on Medical Affairs, would allow patients to access marijuana sold by state-licensed dispensaries upon a doctor’s recommendation for the treatment of qualifying conditions.
“Debilitating medical conditions” for which patients could receive a medical cannabis recommendation include cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s disease, and autism, among others, per the legislation.
In addition, a Medical Cannabis Advisory Board would be in charge of adding or removing qualifying conditions for the program. Also, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Board of Pharmacy would be responsible for promulgating rules and licensing pot businesses.
It would allow for cannabis to be obtained only through selected pharmacies, and smoking would remain illegal.
If marijuana patients work in public safety, commercial transportation, or commercial machinery positions they could not use MMJ or receive a cannabis card.
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Winthrop University in 2022 showed that more than three-fourths of South Carolina voters are in favor of medical cannabis. “Support for medical marijuana has been growing in South Carolina with sizable majorities from both parties favoring it,” said Scott Huffmon, director of the Winthrop Poll that weighted the opinion of 1298 respondents.
In related news, South Dakota’s Senate recently introduced a bill that would benefit medical marijuana patients in the state. Some of the medical conditions that the measure includes for those patients who want to apply for an MMJ card are post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, cancer, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, lateral sclerosis, epilepsy, and immune deficiencies, reported the South Dakota Public Broadcasting.
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