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South Carolina House Nips Medical Marijuana Bill in the Bud on Constitutional Concerns

May 10, 2022

Supporters of a move to bring medical marijuana to South Carolina are looking for new buzz after a legalization bill was snuffed out on a procedural and constitutional challenge.

“I just need to find out a way to get this thing on the merits up or down in the House and that’s what I’m going to be working on,” the main sponsor of the bill, state Sen. Tom Davis, told reporters after the House action last week.

Senate Bill 150 has been described as one of the most conservative medical cannabis bills in the country. It would have allowed patients with qualifying medical conditions to obtain edible-type products from a licensed dispensary. Smokable weed and home cultivation would have remained prohibited, according to Marijuana Moment and other news sites.

The state Senate approved the bill in February, largely along party lines. But the measure faced stiffer opposition in the House, with lawmakers offering 1,000 amendments at one point. On May 4, Rep. John McCravy raised a point of order, noting that because the bill sets a tax on cannabis products, it should have originated in the House, per the state constitution.

House Speaker Pro Tem Thomas Pope concurred, declaring the bill unconstitutional, according to the National Law Review. The chamber then voted to extinguish an appeal from sponsors. Supporters of the bill have disputed the tax concerns, pointing out that it would be revenue-neutral.

It’s uncertain if the matter can be revived before the General Assembly session ends June 15.

Topics Cannabis South Carolina

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