South Carolina Compassionate Care Act


The South Carolina Senate gave third and final approval on February 14 to S.423, Compassionate Care Act, by Senator Tom Davis (R) Beaufort that would legalize medical cannabis. Senator Davis worked for years with all the parties to develop this legislation and worked tirelessly to get it through the Senate. The legislation now goes to the House, where it faces an uncertain future.   

Last year, a similar bill, S.150, passed the Senate but was struck down in the House on a technical ruling that the bill raised revenue and should have originated in the House. In S.423, Senator Davis excluded the 6% fee on medical marijuana sales that caused the House leader to rule against the bill, and he also addressed a number of other issues brought to his attention by various parties, including law enforcement.   

A number of Senators spoke against the bill, worried that the proposal would lead to the approval of recreational marijuana. “I can’t think of a more dangerous place for us to get out of our lane,” said Republican Senator Greg Hembree (R) Horry. Senator Billy Garrett (R) McCormick wanted to delete the language that would allow a minor to accompany a parent into a dispensary to get a medical cannabis prescription filled. He wanted a prohibition for all minors in dispensaries. Senator Kevin Johnson (D) Clarendon presented statistics against medical marijuana and cited incidents describing the harm of marijuana.  

In the end, the Senate voted 24-19 to give final approval to the bill. 


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