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South Carolina Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears First Committee Stop

A South Carolina Senate committee has approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

Sen. Tom Davis (R) introduced the S.C. Compassionate Care Act last month, with tweaks that are meant to avoid procedural problems that derailed an earlier version the reform last year. The prior measure had cleared the full Senate but stalled out on the House floor because of a procedural issue with tax-related language.

On Tuesday, in a 9-8 vote, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee used a process to advance the new legislation without physically meeting. It next heads to a floor vote.

Overall, the bill would allow patients to access cannabis from licensed dispensaries if they receive a doctor’s recommendation for the treatment of qualifying conditions.

Here are the other main provisions of the proposal

“Debilitating medical conditions” for which patients could receive a medical cannabis recommendation include cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Crohn’s disease, autism, a terminal illness where the patient is expected to live for less than one year and a chronic illness where opioids are the standard of care, among others.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Board of Pharmacy would be responsible for

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