Sen. Tom Davis introduced a new bill today that would establish a medical cannabis program for seriously ill patients in South Carolina. The text of Senate bill 366 is available here. Sen. Davis' office sent out a summary of the bill, and we have our own as well. Rep. Peter McCoy is expected to file his own version in the House soon.
You lawmakers need to hear from you. Click here to forward a message asking for support.
Sen. Davis and Rep. McCoy sponsored medical cannabis bills in 2018, and in many respects this year's effort will pick up where last year's left off. Measures in both chambers passed out of committee last year, but time ran out before floor votes could be taken. Given the groundwork laid since then, we hope to see a bill pass and be presented to the governor for his signature in 2019.
At the same time, there are signs of increasing support among members of the GOP. Members of the Charleston County GOP voted yesterday in support of a resolution asking the state legislature to adopt a medical cannabis measure for patients in South Carolina. Based on recent polling, 63% of Republicans in the state support such a program.
2019 could be the year patients finally get a program they deserve! Make sure your lawmakers hear from you, and please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters in South Carolina.
Lawmakers reconvening for 2019 legislative session. If you live in South Carolina, click here to voice your support for medical cannabis in South Carolina!
Lawmakers are reconvening this week in Columbia as the 2019 legislative session kicks off. Two bills have already been introduced that would establish a medical cannabis program, with more on the way. This could be a big year for patients seeking access to medical cannabis in the Palmetto State.
The two bills that have already been introduced, one by Rep. Rosalyn Henderson-Myers and another by Rep. J. Todd Rutherford, would both create programs that are similar in many ways to the medical cannabis laws in 32 other states and Washington, D.C. In addition, Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy, who sponsored legislation last year, are also expected to introduce their own legislation measures shortly. Similar bills passed out of the House and Senate committees last year, but didn't receive a floor vote before adjournment.
Make sure your lawmakers heard about a poll recently published by Benchmark Research, which found that 72% of South Carolinians, including 63% of Republicans, support providing access to medical cannabis for patients. Support is strong, and it's time to get it done.
Please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters in South Carolina.
South Carolina’s general election, set for Tuesday, November 6, is just 21 days away. The governor’s race and every House of Representatives seat is on the ballot. This is a particularly important election as lawmakers are expected to vote on a medical cannabis bill in 2019, and it will likely need the support of the governor. Those in office will have a huge impact on the future of South Carolina’s patients and their treatment options.
Our voter guide is now available online. It includes all House candidates who either co-sponsored the 2018 medical cannabis bill or who responded to our questionnaire on medical cannabis support. It also includes committee votes and the candidates for governor. While James Smith (D) is a strong supporter of allowing medical cannabis, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said he would not sign a bill unless law enforcement signs off — which they show no inclination of doing.
Voters’ choices this year will have a huge impact on the future of cannabis policy in the state. If you are registered to vote, know where your candidates stand, and be sure to vote!
If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you have until October 17. For more information, including polling places and other key information, check out the state’s elections website here.
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.
If patients are to get the protections they deserve, they’ll need legislators who stand up for them. You can help make that happen.
If you are a South Carolina resident, find out where candidates in your state House and state Senate districts stand before you cast your votes on Tuesday, November 8.
1. If you’re not sure of what state legislative districts you live in, click here.
On Thursday, the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 9-2 against the South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act (S. 672), effectively killing the legislation for the year. Fortunately, there is still hope the House will take action on its version of the bill — H. 4037 — which was approved by a House subcommittee by a vote of 3-1 last year.
If you are a South Carolina resident, please contact your lawmakers and tell them South Carolina patients deserve access to safe and effective treatment.
S. 672/H. 4037 would allow patients with certain serious medical conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana. The legislation also would create a reasonable, well-regulated system of access through growers, processors, dispensers, and certified labs.
Last week, a South Carolina Senate subcommittee approved H 4037/S 672, sponsored by Sens. Tom Davis and C. Bradley Hutto. The bill would allow qualified patients to possess and use medical marijuana for a variety of conditions. It now moves on to the Medical Affairs Committee, which will meet again in January. It is hopeful to see the Palmetto State demonstrating openness to policies that will protect the sick and suffering from arrest for using medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation, but passage of this legislation is by no means guaranteed.
Support for compassionate medical marijuana legislation continues to grow in South Carolina, and last week’s hearing demonstrates that the legislature is taking notice. If you are a South Carolina resident, please make sure your senator and representative know that you support compassionate access and that they should too.
Tomorrow afternoon, a subcommittee of the South Carolina House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee will take testimony on the need for a compassionate medical marijuana program.
If you are a South Carolina resident, please email your representative today to ask him or her to support medical marijuana.
If you are a seriously ill patient with a qualifying medical condition (definition 21), the loved one of a patient, or a medical professional, please also consider testifying in person. Let us know if you’re interested.
The South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act, H 4037, would allow patients suffering from a listed condition to use and safely access medical marijuana if recommended by their doctors. This bill is more comprehensive than and addresses the many flaws of the legislation that was passed last year in an attempt to make certain medical marijuana products accessible to a limited class of patients.
On Tuesday, Democratic primary voters in South Carolina approved a non-binding medical marijuana question. With all counties having reported, the unofficial results show the question was supported by an overwhelming 75%-25% margin! The question asked voters if “medical marijuana [should] be legalized for use in cases of severe, chronic illnesses when documented by a physician.”
While this was a non-binding question, meaning it does not change the law at all, the overwhelming support sends a clear message to South Carolina lawmakers, and Democrats specifically, that their constituents support compassionate laws.
Earlier this spring, the South Carolina Legislature took a step toward sensible marijuana laws by passing legislation allowing a limited class of patients to use marijuana low in THC, but it is so incomplete that MPP does not consider South Carolina a medical marijuana state.