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CBD Oil in South Carolina: What Is The Law?

CBD Oil in South Carolina: What Is The Law? - SOL✿CBD

Is it legal to buy hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil in South Carolina? The answer should be a simple yes because hemp-derived CBD is readily available and 100% legal in all U.S. states. However, the Palmetto State still has strict and confusing laws pertaining to CBD, in direct contrast with federal law. Here is what you need to know about these laws, also where to buy CBD oil in South Carolina.

Is it legal to buy hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil in South Carolina?

Current Legal Status of Hemp-Derived CBD Oil in South Carolina

In June 2014, Julian’s Law took effect in this state, establishing legal protection for a narrow group of medical cannabis patients, their prescribing doctors, and their designated caregivers. The law allows the possession and use of CBD in limited circumstances—specifically for patients with severe forms of seizure disorders.

Patients with these disorders are eligible to get a CBD prescription from a licensed physician in South Carolina. The CBD oil, according to Julian’s Law, needs to be more than 15 percent CBD and no more than 0.9 percent THC.

The law also permits physicians to apply to take part in a statewide medical study of CBD oil, even if the study is looking into the effects of CBD on other conditions. The CBD oil used in the studies must come from a USDA-approved source, and be at least 98 percent CBD. [1]

RELATED: Is CBD Hemp Oil Legal in All 50 States?

Who Qualifies for CBD Oil in South Carolina?

According to Julian’s Law, the only patients eligible for CBD oil treatment are:

  • Patients diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or any other form of severe, uncontrollable epilepsy;
  • Patients unresponsive to traditional medical therapies.

Regarding the patient’s designated caregiver, the law permits that a person that provides care to a qualifying patient, temporarily or permanently, can be a family member or a daycare employee.

Only medical doctors and osteopathic doctors who are licensed by the South Carolina’s Board of Medical Examiners can recommend cannabidiol to patients eligible for treatment. [2]

Who Qualifies for CBD Oil in South Carolina?

Medical and Recreational Cannabis in South Carolina

Recreational cannabis remains illegal in South Carolina, and cannabis possession is a misdemeanor. Cultivation of cannabis also remains illegal in this state. Possession of any amount of cannabis can get you convicted with a maximum fine of $200, and incarceration up to 30 days for one ounce or less of cannabis.  

The law allows licensed growers to cultivate hemp as an industrial crop, which is cannabis composed of less than 0.3% THC. [6]

RELATED: 8 CBD Benefits That You Should Consider

Yet, the law is confusing. Let’s see what exactly is covered under the legal definition of marijuana in this state. Under the South Carolina Code of Law § 44-53-110, principle (27) (a) “marijuana” means:

  • All species or variety of the marijuana plant and all parts thereof whether growing or not;
  • The seeds of the marijuana plant;
  • The resin extracted from any part of the marijuana plant;
  • Every compound, manufacturer, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the marijuana plant, marijuana seeds, or marijuana resin. [2]

If we consider this legal definition, CBD is covered in the definition of marijuana as a compound, derivative or preparation from the marijuana (or hemp) plant or its seeds. However, in the next principle, the law defines what is not marijuana in South Carolina.

Marijuana does not include:

  • The mature stalks of the marijuana plant or fibers produced from these stalks;
  • Oil or cake made from the seeds of the marijuana plant, including cannabidiol derived from the seeds of the marijuana plant;
  • Any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivatives, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), including cannabidiol derived from mature stalks. [2]

The law defines what is not marijuana in South Carolina.

This means that products derived from the seeds or mature stalks of the marijuana plant, specifically, cannabidiol, are not marijuana, and are not seen as cause for prosecution, under drug laws in South Carolina.

Yet, then the law goes on to separately list CBD for severe epilepsy, again separately excluding this category from the marijuana definition.

This differs from national law.

On a federal level, the Department of Justice defines marijuana, and excludes CBD from this definition. Per the Controlled Substances Act (CSA):

"(T)he term 'marihuana' means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of such plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin. Such term does not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination." [3]

So, it's clear—in 2014 already, the Julian Law redefined CBD as separate from marijuana, presumably because it is known to be non-psychotropic, not addictive or harmful, and has medicinal properties. Yet, then South Carolina lawmakers proceeded to severely restrict its use and possession anyway. It appears as if they still view this venerable compound as dangerous and addictive, even now that federal law has relaxed somewhat.

Future Initiatives for Decriminalization of Medical Cannabis

Over the years, South Carolina lawmakers have made various efforts to introduce more comprehensive and permissive medical cannabis legislation, but again with little success in 2018. However, medical supporters are not losing hope for the 2019 session. [6]

Where to Buy CBD Oil in South Carolina?

Recently, almost 200 people from across the U.S. suffered from severe bleeding after ingesting marijuana. It turned out that vape stores and shops sell products labeled as CBD oil but which actually contained a harmful, synthetic marijuana. This resulted in local law enforcement becoming a lot more vigilant to test CBD products to see if these comply to regulations. [8]

Where to Buy CBD Oil in South Carolina?

RELATED: How To Choose A High Quality CBD Oil

That raises an essential question: where do you buy CBD oil in South Carolina?

Even more importantly, how to filter out unreputable brands? We recommend asking every local store a couple of questions before buying.

For example:

  • Where is the hemp sourced from and is it organic?
  • Can I get test results for potency, legality, and safety of the CBD product?
  • Which CBD extraction method was used?

Buying CBD oil derived from organic hemp is vital because hemp is a plant that gathers minerals from the surrounding soil—both good and bad minerals—and stores them in the tissues. If the plant is not raised organically, you will be using CBD oil by a plant that has been grown with heavy use of toxic pesticides and heavy metals.

It is a rule of thumb never to trust a store that won’t or can’t tell you the source of their plant material, even if they source their CBD products from a third party.

Buying CBD oil derived from organic hemp is vital.

RELATED: Are You Using Organic CBD Oil?

A reputable brand will provide you with test results for potency, legality, and safety of each batch of flower and finished product—executed by a certified testing facility. A company that tests only one batch and assumes the other batches are the same quality should not be trusted.

The extraction method of the oil also matters. For example, the CO2 method produces a full spectrum CBD extract that contains beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. If working in synergy—also known as the entourage effect—these compounds may produce better results for ameliorating pain, inflammation, addiction, cancer, and more. [6]

Furthermore, transparency is critical. Stay away from stores that are not responding to your questions, or that avoid giving clear answers. For some people, ordering CBD oil from a reliable, transparent source online works the best.

CBD oil in South Carolina can be prescribed—by a licensed physician—only to patients suffering from specific forms of severe intractable epilepsy. The CBD must contain less than .9% THC and at least 15% CBD, according to Julian’s Law.

Sources:

  1. https://www.safeaccessnow.org/south_carolina_legal_information
  2. https://www.safeaccessnow.org/south_carolina_medical_marijuana_laws_and_regulations
  3. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t44c053.php
  4. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/marijuana/m_extract_7350.html
  5. https://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article214680290.html
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165946/
  7. https://www.mpp.org/states/south-carolina/
  8. https://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article214680290.html

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