Updated on February 2, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
As legislation changes in South Carolina, check back to this section for information about how those legislative changes will affect the prospect of medical marijuana in South Carolina.
The State of Carolina has not passed any laws effectively establishing a medical marijuana program, however, on June 02, 2014, South Carolina passed S1035 “Julian’s Law,” allowing patients diagnosed with severe forms of epilepsy to use cannabis oil derived from the cannabinoid “Cannabidiol” (CBD).
Julian’s Law was passed into law upon signing by the South Carolina Governor, Nikki Halley. “All patients diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, also known as ‘severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy,’ or any other severe form of epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies and the physician’s conclusion that the patient might benefit from the medical use of cannabidiol.”
As per the legislature, patients who qualify may legally use CBD oil with no more than 0.9% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and a minimum of 15% CBD, to be obtained from the Medical University of South Carolina. Participants will be studied to determine the effects of CBD for controlling seizures.
For more information on how to access CBD cannabis oil in South Carolina, kindly contact the Medical University of South Carolina directly.
To be notified when the State of South Carolina passes legislature becoming a legal medical marijuana state, please sign up to the South Carolina waitlist.
On January 10, 2017, the first day of the new legislative session, Bill S 212 was introduced to the Legislature to create the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act.
Sponsored by Davis, McLeod, Hutto, Campbell, Kimpson, Jackson and M.B. Matthews Sponsors, the bill stood with people who are seriously ill and their family members. The supporters of the bill said that it’s now time for lawmakers to permit people who have serious medical conditions or who are suffering from intense pain to benefit from a plant that is far more effective than opioids and has far fewer side effects.
If Bill S 212 is passed into law and signed by the governor, it will allow certain individuals with specific medical conditions and diseases to use medical cannabis upon receiving the appropriate physician recommendation. Certain individuals can also be authorized to act as caregivers to assist qualifying patients.
Additionally, the bill will create a registry where patients will be registered in confidence and given identification cards that can be verified by law enforcement. S 212 will establish state licensed and monitored medical marijuana dispensaries where patients can purchase their recommended dose of medical marijuana.
The proposed bill establishes the allowable quantity of medical cannabis as two ounces. For a doctor to prescribe or recommend marijuana for a patient, a physician-patient relationship must have existed between them. This means the physician is involved in providing on-going assessment, care, treatment and follow-up care for the patient’s medical condition. The physician must also provide a written certification to the Department of Health and Environment Control stating that the patient can benefit from medical cannabis.
The bill states that medical cannabis should only be recommended for a debilitating medical condition. The medical conditions stated in the bill include:
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.