South Carolina House Closes Door on Medical Cannabis Legalization

South Carolina House Closes Door on Medical Cannabis Legalization

<![CDATA[South Carolina will remain one of 13 states where medical cannabis is illegal in 2022 following a bill’s demise May 4 on the House floor. The legislation, the SC Compassionate Care Act, passed the Senate by way of a 28-15 vote in February, after a marathon that included seven floor sessions: More than 65 changes were considered during a three-week period in the upper chamber. RELATED: South Carolina Medical Cannabis Marathon Finds Senate Approval But Rep. John McCravy, R-Greenwood, challenged the bill’s constitutionality Wednesday on the House floor, arguing that the legislation creates a new tax and that revenue-raising bills must originate in the lower chamber. The bill’s language states that all sales of cannabis products are subject to a 6% sales tax at the point of sale. After covering regulatory costs, the bill aimed to distribute revenue from the tax as follows: 3% for research and training to improve detection of impaired driving; 10% for alcohol and drug abuse prevention, education, early intervention and treatment; 5% to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED); 5% to medical cannabis research; 2% for drug safety education; and 75% to the general fund. House Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, R-York, agreed with McCravy, reiterating that the 6% sales tax in the bill does involve a new revenue raise, and it is therefore unconstitutional because only the House holds that power. House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, proposed an appeal to keep the bill alive, suggesting an amendment to strikeout the tax language should the body move forward on actually considering the legislation on the floor. But the House voted, 59-55, to table his appeal, essentially killing the legislation. Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, who sponsored the bill, watched the House vote with other Senate leaders who visited the lower chamber on Wednesday. They were…

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Source : South Carolina House Closes Door on Medical Cannabis Legalization

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