COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Debate over a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in South Carolina continues on the Senate floor.
The bill’s main sponsor Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) spent the last few days going over the legislation and answering questions from fellow lawmakers.
Law enforcement and other groups have voiced their opposition to S.150 over the last few days at the State House.
The bill would legalize marijuana for medical use for South Carolinians with certain medical conditions. Senator Davis has also called it the most conservative medical cannabis bill in the country.
The bill would create a seed to sale tracking system and sets out certain regulations. Smoking or burning of marijuana leaf would not be allowed under the bill.
As of Wednesday, 28 amendments to the bill have been filed by Senators. The Senate adjourned Wednesday evening before discussing or voting on any amendments to the SC Compassionate Care Act.
One of those possible changes would eliminate the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries from the bill. Senator Josh Kimbrell (R-Spartanburg) said he would support S.150 if changes are made to prevent recreational use legalization in the future.
He said, “My vote is contingent on getting rid of dispensaries.” Sen. Kimbrell said he was working closely with Sen. Davis on this amendment. He said he’s confident it would be adopted.
The amendment would require a state certified pharmacist to give eligible patients the medical marijuana after a physician issues a written certification for it.
In a statement sent to us last month, SLED Chief Mark Keel said his position on medical marijuana is unchanged. He said, “Until it is approved by the FDA, prescribed by a physician, and dispensed by a pharmacist I remain opposed to it.”
Senators are expected to continue debating the bill and various amendments next Tuesday and Wednesday.