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Will Marijuana Be Legal in South Carolina In 2022?

Feb, 2022
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Weed laws have relaxed for most U.S. states over the years, but South Carolina marijuana laws remain restrictive. Residents, medical professionals, and congressmen alike continue to fight for South Carolina weed rights, and they’re not giving up now. 

Marijuana legislation in the southeastern state is on the brink of a turning point, meaning medical treatment for patients could soon see improvement. Is medical marijuana legal in South Carolina? Will marijuana be legal in South Carolina coming 2022? Let’s find out.

will marijuana be legal in south carolina

History of Cannabis in South Carolina

South Carolina got the cannabis ball rolling when the Senate unanimously passed Julian's Law in 2014. This law permits qualified patients diagnosed with severe epilepsy to possess and use CBD products with at least 15% CBD and a maximum of 0.9% THC – under doctor’s orders. 

Then in 2020, the South Carolina Legislature introduced the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act. This act allowed patients with “debilitating health conditions” to use medical cannabis. Under this bill, the state would regulate medical cannabis at all stages and require a written certification and treatment plan from a physician to possess and consume it.

The S.C. Compassionate Care Act is revolutionary for the state, bringing cannabis legalization in South Carolina closer to fruition than ever before.

Legislation Attempts

A year after its introduction, the Senate did not pass the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, as other bills took priority in 2021. But Congress promised to vote on South Carolina marijuana laws in 2022 – and the time has come. Just last week, the Senate began debating the bill, which is the first time this legislation has made it to the chamber floor.

The bill is a special order, which means Congress must vote on it before any other legislation is taken up. Its lead sponsor Senator Tom Davis, who has been fighting for medical cannabis legalization in South Carolina for eight years, is hopeful that this time it will pass. Is legal medical marijuana in South Carolina a near possibility?

37 states have removed state-level criminal penalties from the medical use, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis. Finally, medical cannabis legalization in South Carolina could mean removing these penalties as well.

Will marijuana be legal in South Carolina? Currently, adult-use cannabis is illegal in the state of South Carolina. While recreational use seems to be out of the question, the legalization of medical marijuana in the state is seeing significant movement.

will marijuana be legal in south carolina

Well, then is medical marijuana legal in South Carolina? Not yet. If the S.C. Compassionate Care Act passes, physicians would be able to treat patients with debilitating health conditions using medical cannabis.

Debilitating health conditions refer to cancer, multiple sclerosis, neurologic disorders, terminal illnesses, or conditions for which opioids are the standard care. The bill would also create a Medical Cannabis Advisory Board that would consider petitions to add other serious conditions to the program.

South Carolina residents would be able to possess up to two ounces of non-smokable cannabis when certified by a physician for one of the above conditions. Non-smokable cannabis includes edible cannabis products, beverages, topical products, ointments, oils, tinctures, and more.

Even under the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, smokable cannabis products would be illegal. After all, Senator Tom Davis has been known to refer to the bill as the most restrictive and conservative medical marijuana law in the country.

Is Marijuana Decriminalized in South Carolina?

No, marijuana is not currently decriminalized in South Carolina. In November of last year, South Carolina Representative Nancy Mace introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. But the chair of the South Carolina GOP shut it down. He stated that the South Carolina Republican Party is “against any effort to legalize, decriminalize the use of controlled substances.

South Carolina Marijuana Laws

The justice system in South Carolina could serve serious charges for the simple possession of marijuana, as well as life-altering punishment for more severe offenses. South Carolina weed laws are extremely strict, with no indication of change on a non-medical level.

  • Possession
    • 1 ounce or less: misdemeanor, a maximum sentence of 30 days imprisonment, a fine of $100 to $200
    • Second possession charge of 1 ounce or less: misdemeanor, a maximum sentence of 1-year imprisonment, a maximum fine of $2,000
    • Any amount over 1 ounce can be treated as a distribution crime
  • Sale or trafficking
    • Sale of up to 10 pounds: felony, a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $5,000 
    • Transaction of 10 to 100 pounds: felony, 1 to 25 years imprisonment, a $10,000 to $25,000 fine ranging between first and third offense 
    • Sale of 100+ pounds: felony, at least 25 years imprisonment. a fine between $25,000 and $200,000
  • Paraphernalia
    • Civil citation, maximum fine of $500

LEARN MORE: 2022 – Will We Finally See Legal Marijuana in South Dakota?

Growing Marijuana in South Carolina

South Carolina weed laws state that the cultivation of fewer than 100 plants is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Cultivation of more than 100 plants is a felony punishable by a minimum of 25 in prison and a fine between $25,000 and $200,000.

Since home cultivation of cannabis would still be illegal under the S.C. Compassionate Care Act, growing marijuana in South Carolina won’t be part of upcoming cannabis law changes.

Future of South Carolina Marijuana Laws

will marijuana be legal in south carolina

Residents in need of medical weed are hopeful they will be receiving relief when it comes to cannabis legalization in South Carolina. Lawmakers will adjourn in May of this year regarding the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, but Senator Tom Davis believes both chambers of the legislature might approve the bill before then.

Will marijuana be legal in South Carolina? If the bill passes, South Carolina will be the 38th U.S. state to legalize medical cannabis.

Curious about medical marijuana laws in your state? Check out our FAQs for more.

Stay Informed with Elevate Holistics

South Carolina weed laws are changing at a rapid pace, and Elevate Holistics are ready to break down up-and-coming cannabis regulations. We’ll be here when the big question is answered: is medical marijuana legal in South Carolina? And when that time comes, S.C. residents can come to Elevate Holistics to begin their medical marijuana journey. 

Is medical marijuana already legal in your state? Elevate Holistics will help you get your MMJ card as quickly and easily as possible. Using HIPAA-compliant medical marijuana processes, we’ll connect you with board-certified cannabis physicians for an online appointment.

Book here to begin the 100% virtual process of receiving your MMJ card.