The House version of the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, H 3521, emerged from committee today in a landslide 14-3 vote.
Unfortunately, a key deadline has passed, and it’s too late for the medical cannabis bill to become law this year. However, it’s important to remind lawmakers that patients and those who care for them are counting on their support.
There is much to be done before the bill becomes law, but today’s vote marks a big step forward for patients. Both the House and the Senate versions made it through their committees, and the bills were sent to the full bodies in both chambers.
Thank you to bill sponsors, Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy, and the many supporters who have been active behind the scenes and at the hearings, including those who attended an educational symposium for lawmakers yesterday evening.
If you are a South Carolina resident, please contact your lawmakers and ask them to support the Compassionate Care Act in the next legislative session.
The Senate’s version of the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act passed today in the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. Lawmakers on the committee voted 8-6 in favor of sending the amended bill to the floor.
This is a tremendous step forward, but time is short for a vote by the full Senate. Lawmakers only have until April 10 to vote and send the bill to the House before time runs out this year.
The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, introduced last year by Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy, would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it. The Department of Health and Environmental Control would regulate and license medical cannabis cultivation centers, processing facilities, dispensaries, and independent testing laboratories. The department would also issue registration cards to qualifying patients and their caregivers. Patients would not be able to smoke medical cannabis under the bill as amended by the committee. South Carolina would have one of the most carefully regulated programs in the country under this bill.
While it’s unlikely that the Senate will vote on S. 212 before the clock runs out, it’s crucial that senators hear from their constituents while the bill is on the floor. If the bill doesn’t pass this year, we can build momentum for next year.
If you are a South Carolina resident, please send an email to your senators asking them to support S. 212.
Today, South Carolina Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy introduced comprehensive medical cannabis legislation — the South Carolina Medical Cannabis Act. The bill would allow seriously ill patients to safely access medical cannabis from regulated dispensaries. At a press conference in the capitol today, lawmakers, patients, and advocates discussed the legislation.
While 28 states and Washington, D.C. now have effective medical marijuana laws, South Carolina’s seriously ill patients remain criminals if they use a treatment option that is safer than many prescriptions.
Under the proposed law, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) would license and regulate a limited number of qualified medical cannabis cultivation centers, processing facilities, independent testing laboratories, and dispensaries. It would issue registration cards to patients with qualifying medical conditions who have received written recommendations from their physicians, allowing them to purchase a limited amount of medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.
If you’re interested in getting involved locally, visit the SC Compassion website, and please ask your lawmakers to support compassionate medical marijuana legislation.