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South Carolina lawmakers approved on Thursday Senate bill passed to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

A subcommittee of the House Medical, Military, Public, and Municipal Affairs Committee advanced the measure, sponsored by Senator Tom Davis (right), unanimously after adopting two amendments. Now he will move to the full committee, which will hold a public hearing on the procedure on Monday.

The full Senate passed the Compassionate Care Act last month. Prepared for late 2020 and Passed by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee last March, but a single senator barred her from reaching the chamber floor in 2021. Since then, Davis has redoubled his efforts to cross the bill’s finish line, arguing that South Carolina voters are ready for what he has repeatedly called for “The most conservative medical cannabis bill in the country.”.

The senator said in January that House Speaker Jay Lucas (right) agreed “Permit Bill in House Proceedings” If you advance through the Senate, but the spokesperson later told The Charleston Post and Courier that “Senator. Davis does not speak for Speaker Lucas.”

In any case, the bill has now officially removed an obstacle for him in the opposite room with the Health and Environment Subcommittee. vote. The same committee also approved a separate bill this month that was amended to Add marijuana to the list of drugs under investigation Patients can access it legally during an epidemic or pandemic.

On Thursday, the subcommittee approved an amendment to allow podiatrists to recommend medicinal cannabis if they meet certain requirements. Members also adopted a separate amendment making technical corrections and fixing wording errors in the bill passed by the Senate.

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Governor Henry McMaster said last month that it was too early to comment on the proposal, as lawmakers are still making changes. “This is something that will depend on a lot of things,” he said Tell local FOX station, adding that he will wait to see the final version before deciding whether to sign or veto the bill if it comes to his office.

As amended and passed in the Senate, p 150 Patients with eligible conditions will be allowed to own and purchase cannabis products from licensed dispensaries. Smoking products, as well as the cultivation of cannabis at home by patients or their caregivers, will be prohibited. Mere possession of the cannabis plant form can be punished as a misdemeanour.

Conditions eligible for medical cannabis use include cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, sickle cell anemia, ulcerative colitis, cachexia or wasting syndrome, autism, nausea in home or end-of-life patients, muscle cramps, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). post-traumatic stress disorder). End patients who have less than a year to live will also be eligible. However, regulators will be authorized to add additional terms in the future.

The bill would also allow access among patients with “any chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition for which an opioid is currently prescribed or may be prescribed by a physician based on generally accepted standards of care,” for example severe or persistent pain.

Medical marijuana will be subject to the six percent state sales tax, and local jurisdictions will be able to charge an additional tax.

Instead of the traditional medical marijuana dispensaries found in other legal states, the bill states that there will be so-called cannabis pharmacies. Facilities will be required to have a pharmacist on site at all times, and the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy will issue business regulations.

People with convictions of drug-related offenses would also be barred from participating in the new industry for 10 years under the proposal.

In-state companies will also receive priority licensing when the market is established, with the goal of preventing multi-state operators from dominating the industry.

By law, 75 percent of tax revenue after expenses will go to the state’s general fund, another 10 percent to substance use disorder treatment providers, 5 percent to state law enforcement, and the rest to cannabis research and drug education. .

For the initial offering, regulators will approve 15 cannabis growers, 30 processing facilities, cannabis pharmacies for every 20 pharmacies in the state, five testing laboratories and four cannabis carriers. Legislators, not regulators, are allowed to agree to additional types of licenses.

Local governments can ban medical cannabis companies from operating in their jurisdictions under the amended law, but otherwise, the article states that the burdens of local land use and zoning “should not be greater for a cannabis-based business than for any other similar business.”

The state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control will oversee licensing and other regulations for the new industry. The newly created Cannabis Medical Advisory Board will be responsible for adding or removing eligible conditions. The council meets at least once a year and is headed by a president appointed by the governor.

Davis has defended medical marijuana in South Carolina since 2014, and at a rally earlier this year he pulled out a file he said contained eight years of research into the issue. He said he would use the information “to take on every argument made against this bill, and I will show that they cannot stand in the way of facts and evidence.”

He also continued to lobby opposition to cannabis legalization from his party, for example calling for an attack declaration that was paid for by the South Carolina Republican Party.

Organize the Republican Party Separately Federal legalization bill criticized From US Representative Nancy Mays, a Republican who represents South Carolina in Congress.

The former White House chief of staff under President Donald Trump also recently The Republican Party of South Carolina called his hometown To oppose medical marijuana bill medical marijuana. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s top aide for more than a year and a former congressman, called the legislation “something worth discussion and rational analysis,” even if it’s not a proposal traditionally considered a conservative priority.

Davis referred to his party’s maneuvers as “the elephant in the room” in the Senate chamber Where the debate began on the ground in Januarysaying that he was offended by the misinformation and that he plans to refute every misleading claim made by the group.

“I will go through every legal argument that’s been put forth out there — the lack of medical evidence, the unintended social consequences — and take it all up, discuss and refute them,” the senator said at the time.

An opinion poll published last February showed that South Carolina voters support the legalization of medical marijuana Ratio of five to one. But the state does not have a citizen-led initiative process that has enabled voters in other states to effectuate policy change.

Support for medical marijuana legalization among South Carolina residents has been remarkably stable, with a 2018 Benchmark Research poll similarly finding 72 percent support for the reform, including nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Republicans. Davis said last year that if the legislature did not introduce reform, he would propose a bill on it Raise the issue of medical marijuana legalization to voters through a referendum.

Also in 2018, 82 percent of voters in the state’s Democratic primary Vote for the legalization of medical cannabis In a non-binding advisory vote.

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