Updated September 2019
Despite the introduction of several medical and recreational marijuana bills by South Carolina lawmakers, the state has yet to pass any substantial legislation. There is indication that the state could adopt more comprehensive medical marijuana legislation in the coming legislative session. Learn more about South Carolina marijuana laws below.
Recreational Marijuana Law in South Carolina
Is marijuana legal in South Carolina? In short, no.
Recreational marijuana remains illegal in South Carolina. As policies currently stand, marijuana possession — regardless of amount — is a misdemeanor. Those convicted of possessing 1 ounce or less of marijuana are subject to a maximum fine of $200 and incarceration up to 30 days. If the amount of possession is greater than 1 ounce, penalties can be as great as 1 year in prison and a $2,000 fine.
Over the past two years, multiple decriminalization bills have been introduced, but each has been rejected by lawmakers and has not become law.
Medical Marijuana Law in South Carolina
South Carolina has implemented a very restrictive limited low-tetrahydrocannabinol medical cannabis law. Under the current law, only patients suffering from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or other forms of severe intractable epilepsy, with a written certification from a licensed physician, are able to legally access the cannabis oil. The oil must be comprised of less than 0.9% THC. The Medical University of South Carolina provides the cannabis oil.
While the limited low-THC cannabis oil law is a positive first step toward the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes, it restricts cannabis from nearly all residents. A comprehensive medical marijuana bill called the Compassionate Care Act was debated by South Carolina lawmakers in 2019, but failed to meet an April 10 deadline to pass to the House, pushing it to 2020.
CBD from Hemp Oil in South Carolina
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in South Carolina
The cultivation of marijuana remains illegal in South Carolina. The growing of any amount, whether for personal or medicinal use, is a felony. Cultivating less than 100 plants is punishable by 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Hemp can be cultivated in South Carolina by licensed growers. In March of 2019, The Hemp Farming Act was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster. The new law expanded on the state’s hemp pilot program, initially established in May 2017 after the South Carolina Legislature approved House Bill 3559. Anyone who had previously applied for a grower permit is now eligible to grow hemp in South Carolina, provided they successfully pass a background check.
Legal Status of Other U.S. States
Stay up to date on the latest state legislation, referendums, and public opinion polls. Our Marijuana Legalization Map allows you to browse the current status of medical and recreational marijuana laws in other U.S. states and territories.
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