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South Carolina Marijuana Laws

Created byВ FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated October 27, 2020

Many states across the country have taken steps to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana use. And while the Palmetto State has permitted the use of certain derivatives of marijuana for patients with seizure disorders, the law and its enforcement remain murky. Here are the basics of South Carolina’s marijuana laws as they currently stand.

Marijuana Laws in South Carolina

As noted above, state laws regarding marijuana can vary. Some states allow recreational use, while others only permit medicinal use, while a few others prohibit marijuana use entirely. The chart below highlights some of South Carolina’s marijuana laws.

Code Section

Misdemeanor:В Under 1 oz.: 30 days and/or $100 to $200

Over 1 oz.: Prima facie guilty of sale

Subsequent offense under 1 oz.: 1 yr. and/or $200 to $1000

Felony: up to 5 yrs. and/or up to $5,000

Second offense: felony, up to 10 yrs. and/or up to $10,000

Third offense: felony, 5-20 yrs. and/or up to $20,000

Sale to minor: felony, up to 10 yrs. and up to $10,000

Trafficking

10-99 lbs.: 1-5 yrs. and up to $10,000; 2nd offense: 5-20 yrs and up to $15,000; Third offense: mandatory 25 yrs. and $25,000;

100-1,999 lbs. or 100-1000 plants: mandatory 25 yrs. and $25,000;

2000-9,999 lbs. or 1000-10,000 plants: mandatory 25 yrs. and $50,000;

Over 10,000 lbs. or over 10,000 plants: 25-30 yrs. and $200,000

South Carolina’s statutes are generally more restrictive than other state marijuana laws. In addition, possession of even small amounts of marijuana remains illegal under federal law according to the Controlled Substance Act. Even if South Carolina were to legalize marijuana, federal law always supersedes state law, and the federal government hasn’t given up on enforcing restrictions on interstate cases of pot possession, manufacturing and cultivation, and trafficking and distribution. To date, South Carolina has no plans to legalize marijuana, and even an extended medicinal marijuana bill failed to make it to a hearing.

Related Resources for South Carolina Marijuana Laws:

Although there is no major change in the works currently, state marijuana laws can evolve along with social attitudes regarding drugs. For more articles and information on this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s drug charges section. Finally, if you or someone you know may have a drug or substance abuse problem, South Carolina’s Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse has online, phone, and in-person resources that can help.

Facing Marijuana Charges in South Carolina? An Attorney Can Help

Marijuana possession, trafficking, and cultivation are all still illegal in South Carolina. But the laws are changing across the country every year. If you or someone you love is charged with a marijuana-related crime, you should speak with a South Carolina drug crimes attorney to learn about your options.В

Chart providing details of South Carolina Marijuana Laws

South Carolina Marijuana Information

Quick FAQs

The South has been slow to move towards legalizing cannabis, and South Carolina is no exception to that rule. Marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes is illegal in the state, and simple marijuana possession has not been decriminalized either. First time offenders can face up to 30 days in jail and a maximum of $565 fine for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

South Carolina has legalized a very specific type of medical marijuana, though. For certain patients, high-CBD, low-THC hemp oil is permitted to treat terminal or chronic illnesses like epilepsy. Recently, the House attempted to pass the South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act, which would have legalized medical marijuana for qualifying patients with a prescription from a licensed doctor, but the Act was rejected in the Senate in 2016.

Currently, there is no pending legislation aimed at legalizing medical or recreational marijuana in South Carolina. The industrial hemp industry has been changing though, since it was legalized to cultivate hemp in South Carolina in 2014. Licensed growers are permitted to grow the plant cannabis sativa with less than .03 THC concentration – however, the state has stalled the process in that there is currently no way for cultivators to obtain a license allowing them to grow.

Kush encourages discretion for all travelers. If you do partake, don’t drive while high – you can be convicted of a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana in South Carolina. If you find yourself in a pinch with the law, check out our South Carolina Cannabis Lawyers page for help!

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South Carolina FAQ

Is Marijuana legal in South Carolina?

Marijuana, for both medical and recreational uses, is not legal in South Carolina. However, there is one exception that allows the use of high-CBD, low-THC hemp oil for specific qualifying patients.

Where can I buy marijuana?

There are currently no legal outlets in South Carolina where residents can purchase marijuana or marijuana products.

How can I help legalize marijuana in South Carolina?

South Carolina residents can help get marijuana legalized in their state by writing to their state legislators and urging them to legalize marijuana. Be sure to encourage your legislators to start with changing the penalty for marijuana possession to a civil fine of $100-$200, instead of an arrest!

Is there any legislation trying to legalize recreational or medical cannabis in South Carolina?

There is currently no legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use. Earlier this year, the Senate rejected the South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act, which would have allowed certain patients to use and access medical marijuana, as well as create a system of growers, processors, dispensers, and labs. The Act had passed in the House last year.

How much will it cost if it is legalized?

The price of marijuana will vary based on strain and quality, and it will also be dependent on what the tax rate is. You can expect prices to be between $10 to $30 per gram.

What types of marijuana will the stores sell?

This is all dependent on the specific law that ends up being passed in South Carolina, but in general, this is an overview of what stores in states with legalized marijuana carry. You will see a number of different flower strains categorized by their strains ranging from strong Indicas to strong Sativas and everything in between. Each strain can have different effects so be sure to ask the budtender for assistance in choosing the best marijuana for you. Strong Sativas strains are known for their general uplifting, energizing, and head high effects while Indicas are known for their full body highs and sedative effects.

Dispensaries will also sell a number of other types of marijuana products, including but not limited to:

  • Concentrates: essential oils of the cannabis plant. Warning: these can be very potent!
  • Edibles: Cannabis infused foods, candies, or drinks. Warning: These can be very potent! Be sure to check the serving size before enjoying and remember the effects can take up to an hour to hit you.
  • Transdermal Products (Topicals): creams, lotions, massage oils and such infused with cannabis. These products are not psychoactive and will not get you high.
  • Seeds: seeds that can be used to grow your own marijuana plants. Stores will have many different strains of Indicas and Sativas.
  • Clones: healthy seedlings that are ready be grown.

What is the punishment if I’m caught with marijuana?

The punishment for the first offense of possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a maximum of 30 days in prison and/or a fine up to $100. Offenders may receive a conditional discharge if they agree to attend an approved drug abuse program. If you find yourself in a pinch with the law, check out our South Carolina Cannabis Lawyers page for help!

If marijuana gets legalized, can I still get in trouble?

Yes. You can always get in trouble at the federal level, even if marijuana gets legalized in South Carolina. Be sure to always follow the laws of the state you are in, and state authorities will have no issues with you.

Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. Please respect the current state of Marijuana law in your area.

Is Recreational Cannabis legal in South Carolina? Can I buy Medical Marijuana in South Carolina? Are there any Dispensaries in South Carolina? No! Read more!