Marijuana is not legal in South Carolina for recreational or medical purposes. What about CBD oil or other CBD products? CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is an active ingredient in marijuana and hemp plants that: 1) does not get you high, and 2) is proven to be an effective treatment for epilepsy and other debilitating illnesses. So, are CBD products legal in South Carolina? Below I will explain why CBD oil appears to be legal under SC law, with the caveat that this is a developing area of the law that is, without a doubt, controversial. There are no appellate opinions on the issue, and if you choose to use CBD oil in South Carolina, you could become the “test case.”

CBD Oil is Not Marijuana

South Carolina’s marijuana laws specifically exclude CBD oil that is made from marijuana seeds or mature stalks of marijuana plants. S.C. Code § 44-53-110 contains the definitions for terms used in SC’s drug laws. 44-53-110 (27) defines what marijuana is and what marijuana is not for purposes of possession and other drug crimes.

What is Marijuana in SC?

Marijuana is defined in 44-53-110 (27)(a) as every part of the marijuana plant and every product that is derived from the marijuana plant: (i) all species or variety of the marijuana plant and all parts thereof whether growing or not; (ii) the seeds of the marijuana plant; (iii) the resin extracted from any part of the marijuana plant; or (iv) every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the marijuana plant, marijuana seeds, or marijuana resin. Because CBD is derived from the marijuana (or hemp) plant, it is covered by this definition as a compound, derivative, or preparation of the plant or its seeds. But, let’s keep reading…

What is Not Marijuana in SC?

44-53-110 (27)(b) goes on to list what is not defined as marijuana under SC law including:

  • Oil or cake made from the seeds of the marijuana plant, including cannabidiol derived from the seeds of the marijuana plant; and
  • any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivatives, mixture, or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), including cannabidiol derived from mature stalks.

These two definitions make clear that CBD products derived from the seeds or mature stalks of marijuana plants are not marijuana for purposes of prosecution under SC’s drug laws. It goes on to separately list CBD products that are prescribed for epilepsy or other illnesses as authorized under a separate SC law, separately excluding them from the definition of marijuana.

Do I Need a Prescription for CBD Oil in SC?

Julian’s Law (S.C. Code § 44-53-1810) establishes a framework for clinical trials to treat epilepsy patients with CBD from sources that are approved by the FDA. The CBD compound used must be at least 98% cannabidiol and no more than .9% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If Julian’s Law prohibits possession or use of CBD oil, it does so by implication only. There is no express prohibition of CBD in Julian’s Law or anywhere in SC law that I have found. So what is the answer? Julian’s Law authorizes the use CBD oil from certain sources with a prescription. But, if there is no prohibition on CBD in SC in the first place, isn’t it already legal under state law and a prescription is not necessary? By the way, a local company here in Conway, SC, Palmetto Harmony, is now the first CBD oil company in the country to air cannabis-based product ads on national television: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeMBMQ1OuDQ

Myrtle Beach SC Marijuana Defense Lawyers

I have not yet seen a case where a person was prosecuted for possession or use of CBD oil in South Carolina, and, based on my reading of the statutes, it is doubtful that a medical patient would be arrested or prosecuted by state authorities for using CBDs. Marijuana, or compounds containing high levels of THC, are definitely illegal in SC, however. Police in most locations will take you to jail for even small amounts of marijuana. If you have been charged with drug possession, drug distribution, or drug trafficking in SC, we want to help you. You can schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case with a Myrtle Beach drug defense lawyer at Coastal Law, LLC, by calling (843) 488-5000 or filling out our online form.

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