Medical Cannabis Bills Pre-filed in South Carolina

South Carolina state lawmakers pre-filed two separate medical cannabis legalization proposals. Both of the measures would give patients access to full-plant medicine.

Full story after the jump.

Two medical cannabis bills have been pre-filed in the South Carolina House for the upcoming 2023 session. Both measures would effectively legalize full-plant medical cannabis use in the state which currently only allows low-THC, CBD products.  

The Put Patients First Act, pre-filed by Minority Leader J. Todd Rutherford (D) would allow physicians to authorize patients for medical cannabis use and establish a system of caregivers. The law includes language to protect patients, caregivers, and physicians from criminal liability. The law would also allow a system of medical cannabis dispensaries. The measure was referred to the House Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs. 

Separately, the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act was pre-filed by Republican Reps. Bill Herbkersman, Jerry Carter, and Bill Taylor. The measure would also authorize dispensaries – but not caregivers – and would allow access by patients with “debilitating medical conditions who are under the care of a physician,” according to the summary of the pre-filed bill. The proposal would set up a Medical Cannabis Program Fund to provide for the program’s operations. The law would also create criminal penalties for use of cannabis while driving. The measure was also referred to the chamber’s Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs. 

The state’s 2023 legislative session begins on January 10.    

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