South Carolina Medical Marijuana Laws and Regulations

Julian’s law took effect in South Carolina in June 2014, establishing legal protection for an extremely narrow class of medical cannabis patients and their designated caregivers. Under the law, licensed physicians can recommend the use of cannabidiol for patients with certain forms of epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies. The legislation also creates a statewide program for conducting clinical trials, if approved by the Food and Drug Administration, as well as a committee to develop a production and distribution plan, in the event cannabis is reclassified by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The law is vague on cultivation and dispensing of medical cannabis, leaving patients and providers vulnerable to arrest and prosecution.

Brief Summary of Legislation:

Qualifying Patients

  • Must be diagnosed with an uncontrollable form of epilepsy
  • Must be unresponsive to traditional medical therapies
  • Must be certified by a licensed medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy
  • Must not possess forms of cannabis that contain less than 98% cannabidiol (CBD) or more than 0.9% tetrahydrocannibinol (THC)

Designated Caregivers

  • Must provide care to a qualifying patient, either temporarily or permanently
  • Must be a relative or live in the same household as the qualifying patient and/or be employed by a day care center or a public or private institutional facility 
  • There is no statutory limitation on compensation for designated caregivers

Recommending Clinicians

  • Must be a Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Must be licensed by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
  • Nothing prohibits physicians from applying for an Investigational New Drug Permit from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Physicians complying with Julian’s law are not subject to arrest, prosecution, civil penalty or administrative sanction, including disciplinary action by professional licensing boards

Cannabis Cultivators

No Explicit Legal Protection

Distribution Facilities

No Explicit Legal Protection


South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services