Getting a Medical Card in South Carolina

Updated on November 19, 2021.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Getting a Medical Marijuana Prescription in SC

South Carolina is one of the few states that does not currently have a medical cannabis program. The use of clinical-grade CBD has been approved for children with epilepsy. The use of cannabidiol (CBD) was only approved on June 2, 2014, when the South Carolina Senate passed S 1035 or “Julian’s Law.” Only patients with the most severe forms of epilepsy can be provided with clinical-grade CBD. 

Medical cannabis remains illegal in the state. The cannabidiol provided for patients that qualify must be 0.90% THC or lower in potency. After agricultural restrictions were lifted in South Carolina in 2018, more than one hundred farms grew hemp. However, smokable hemp remains illegal in South Carolina. 

Benchmark Research conducted a poll to determine whether South Carolina residents supported the legalization of cannabis. The survey found that 72% of residents in SC were in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. South Carolina residents do not, however, support adult-use or recreational legalization. In the Benchmark Research survey, only 23% of respondents said they would vote for adult use. 

Medical Marijuana in South Carolina (2021 Update)

There was some encouraging movement in the South Carolina legislature during 2021. Some representatives and leaders have indicated that medical cannabis laws may be passed in early 2022. 

Senator Tom Davis has filed the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act. The legislation was provided to the House of Representatives at the end of 2020. The proposed medical cannabis legislation had passed the Senate Medical Affairs Committee by March 2021, but it was still being held by May. Specifically by one Senator, who felt more time was needed to review the laws. 

The South Carolina Senate is scheduled to review the Committee-approved legislation in January 2022. Senator Tom Davis has called the proposed medical cannabis program one of the most restrictive and conservative in the United States.

FAQs

Who qualifies for medical marijuana in South Carolina?

Currently, only approved patients with one of three diagnosed health conditions can get approval for clinical-grade CBD of less than 0.90% THC potency. Patients must be diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or another form of severe epilepsy.

What Medical Marijuanas are Available in SC?

No type of medical cannabis is currently legalized in South Carolina. While cannabidiol (CBD) oil is available by prescription for some patients, even smokable hemp is prohibited. And in 2019, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office stated that providing raw hemp to consumers for any purpose was also illegal. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a South Carolina Medical Card?

Medical cannabis is not legalized in South Carolina, and it is not possible for patients to register for a medical card. However, in other states, the minimum age requirement is eighteen (18) years.

Do I need to create my own MMJ patient profile?

It is not known if or when South Carolina will legalize medical cannabis. However, in most states, the patient is required to register online with the medical cannabis program and create their own profile. The patient portal becomes the place where annual medical card renewals and payments are processed in most states. 

Can I register my child for medical marijuana?

Right now, medical cannabis is not legalized in South Carolina. However, if the state adopts legalization in 2022, minors or children with debilitating health conditions may be permitted to register. But only with a designated legal guardian or caregiver, as is the requirement in other states.

How can I become a caregiver for MMJ in SC?

After medical cannabis legalization in South Carolina, caregivers will have to pass a number of checks before they can provide assistance to a minor. 

Other states require that caregivers be over the age of 21 years, without a prior drug-related criminal record, and the minor’s legal guardian. Some states also require that the caregiver must reside with the patient as well.

How do I renew my South Carolina medical card?

Many states require that medical cannabis cards be renewed on an annual basis. This includes having a physician complete a health check and provide certification or referral to the MMJ program. And it also requires an annual renewal fee payable to the state medical cannabis authority.

What if I lose my medical card in SC?

All states with a medical cannabis program allow patients to request a new card. This is usually done online, but sometimes, appearing in person at a Department of Health (DOH) office. There is also a fee ranging from $10 to $25 for card replacement in some states.

Where do you get medical marijuana in South Carolina?

Medical marijuana is not currently available in South Carolina. The purchase of smokable and raw hemp is also illegal. Simple possession (unrelated to violent crime or weapons use and for small quantities of cannabis) carries a misdemeanor charge

First-time offenders can spend more than thirty (30) days in jail and pay a fine of up to $200. Those charged with possession of personal-use amounts of cannabis can complete a pretrial drug education and intervention program to reduce the penalties.

When did medical marijuana in SC become legal?

Medical cannabis is not currently legal in South Carolina. But the legislation will be reviewed by the Senate in January 2022 and may progress at that time. 

The History of Medical Marijuana in South Carolina

There have been many attempts to legalize medical marijuana in South Carolina and provide a compassionate care program for patients. However, the proposed legislation has failed to gather support in the South Carolina Senate.

April 2015—The Medical Marijuana Program Act (H 407) and (S 672) were introduced. However, the proposed legislation did not move through the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. A revision of the legislation amended and renamed the Compassionate Care Act was introduced again in 2017 and failed to gain support in the Senate.

Source Web 2021: scstatehouse.gov

January 2019—A new and improved Compassionate Care Act was introduced ( H 3660) and (S 366) in South Carolina. The legislation greatly expanded the qualifying health conditions. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee kept some of the legislation but applied it only to cannabidiol (CBD) of 0.90% THC potency. It did not pass as it failed to be passed to the House of Representatives by April 2019.

Source Web 2021: scstatehouse.gov

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Debilitating diseases or medical conditions that produce multiple sclerosis, persistent muscle spasms, neurological disorders, seizures, severe nausea, severe debilitating pain as well as wasting syndrome (cachexia) may also be treated with medical marijuana.

According to a section of the proposed act, if a patient has a statement from a doctor stating they have a qualifying medical condition, a valid registry ID card from another state permits the patient to possess medical marijuana in South Carolina. This means that if the bill is passed, people from other states may be allowed to use their medical marijuana cards in South Carolina.

South Carolina Qualification

Find out Who Qualifies for Marijuana in South Carolina in our definitive guide of South Carolina’s qualification guidelines. Read up on medical conditions that are covered under South Carolina’s medical marijuana program, age restrictions, criminal conviction restrictions, and more.

South Carolina Medical Marijuana Laws

Read South Carolina’s Full Medical Marijuana Laws to gain full specific knowledge of South Carolina’s exact legal guidelines without interpretation.

Telemedicine Services in South Carolina

On June 3, 2016, the state governor signed the new Telemedicine Act into law to establish new standards for the practice of Telehealth in South Carolina. The new statute defines telemedicine as using information technology, electronic communications and other means between a licensed provider in one location and a patient in a different location, even without the intervention of a practitioner.

The definition does not enforce real-time interactive video or audio communications technology. However, the provider must use technology that is sufficient to provide accurate diagnosis and treat the patient in compliance with applicable standards of healthcare.

Any physician who wants to practice telemedicine in South Carolina must have a valid state medical license. A doctor can establish a valid physician-patient relationship through telemedicine without having an in-person exam.

Remote prescribing without a previous examination in-person is permitted. But a physician should not establish a physician-patient relationship through telemedicine just to prescribe medication. When prescribing controlled substances through telemedicine, the physician must comply with all state and federal laws including the state’s prescription monitoring program.

Connect With Marijuana Doctors in South Carolina

South Carolina has not legalized the use of medical cannabis, but the new bill introduced to the senate reveals that it will soon become a reality. After legalization, you’ll need a written statement from a physician as well as a doctor-patient relationship to qualify for medical marijuana. We have an efficient system that will enable you to quickly find a licensed doctor working in your community:

  • Use Our Doctor Search Tool  We’re constantly building a network of qualified and competent doctors to help you handle examination, diagnosis and certification for any qualifying condition that can be treated with medical marijuana. Go to our doctors search page and type in your zip code to find the physicians in your community. You may also search via the cities placed at the top of the page.
  • Read Doctors’ Profiles and Reviews — Before you book an appointment with a doctor, you can view the doctor’s hours of operation, service fees and other terms of service. You may also read reviews from other patients before requesting an appointment.
  • Book an Appointment With a Doctor — If you’re satisfied with a particular doctor, you should book an appointment. We make this very simple for you. Just click on the “Request an Appointment” button or make a direct call to the doctor during their normal operating hours.

Find South Carolina Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Lawmakers have not yet approved the sale of marijuana for medical use in dispensaries. However, it is one of the provisions of the proposed act concerning medical marijuana. That’s why we’ve created a well-managed directory for dispensaries. When the bill is signed into law, you’ll have access to facts about each dispensary including physical location, telephone number, availability of your recommended type of cannabis and the mode of delivery.

 

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