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Possessing marijuana in the state of South Carolina is illegal. Even those caught with less than 1 ounce of cannabis are subject to both fines and imprisonment. Anything over 1 ounce is considered marijuana trafficking, and comes with strict penalties and fines.
Marijuana Laws in South Carolina:
The state has, however, approved a medical CBD law. This allows epileptic patients with conditions that are debilitating and severe to use cannabis extracts to treat these conditions. All extracts must contain low amounts of THC and high concentrations of CBD.
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Possessing Marijuana in South Carolina
In South Carolina, possessing less than 1 ounce of cannabis is a punishable misdemeanor that comes with a fine between $100 to $200 and up 30 days in jail for first-time offenders. For subsequent possession offenses of less than 1 ounce, it is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and up to 1 year in prison.
The courts may grant a conditional release, based on its discretion. In this case, there may be a pretrial intervention program. This form of diversion sentencing, or conditional release, is available for first-time cannabis offenders.
Hashish & Concentrates
- Possessing less than 10 grams of hashish concentrate of hash in South Carolina is a misdemeanor. Convictions carry fines between $100 to $200 and up to 30 days in jail.
- Subsequent offenders are also guilty of misdemeanors if convicted. These offenders are subject to fines between $200 to $1,000 and/or up to 1-year imprisonment.
- Possessing more than 10 grams of hashish oil or has is considered possession with intent to distribute. For first time offenses, this crime is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
- Second-time offenders are subject to felony convictions, whether the prior offense(s) were committed in South Carolina or some other state. These convictions carry fines up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
- Third and subsequent offenses also lead to felony convictions. These offenders are hit with fines up to $20,000 and prison sentences anywhere from 5 to 20 years.
Selling Marijuana in South Carolina
All marijuana sales in the state of South Carolina are subject to felony convictions that come with both fines and imprisonment as follows:
- Less than 10 pounds = Fine up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in jail
- Between 10 to 100 pounds (First offense) = Fine up to $10,000 with mandatory minimum sentence between 1 to 10 years in prison
- Between 10 to 100 pounds (Second offense) = $25,000 fine with mandatory sentence of 25 years in prison
- Between 10 to 100 pounds (Third of subsequent offense) = Fine up to $10,000 with mandatory minimum sentence between 1 to 10 years in prison
- Between 100 to 2,000 pounds = Fine up to $25,000 and mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison
- Between 2,000 to 10,000 pounds = Fine up to $50,000 and mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison
- More than 10,000 pounds = Fine up to $200,000 and mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison
Growing and Manufacturing Marijuana in South Carolina
It is illegal to manufacture or grow marijuana in South Carolina. There are no exceptions, and fines and penalties for these felonies are as follows:
- Less than 100 plants = Fine up to $5,000 and up to 5 years’ imprisonment
- Between 100 to 1,000 plants = Fine up to $25,000 and up to 25 years’ imprisonment
- Between 1,000 to 10,000 plants = Fine up to $50,000 and up to 25 years’ imprisonment
- More than 10,000 plants = Fine up to $200,000 and up to 25 years’ imprisonment
Using Marijuana in South Carolina
Therefore, it is illegal to use marijuana in the state, except under the guidelines established by South Carolina’s medical CBD law.
Medical marijuana extracts are approved in this state for patients with Dravet Syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, and Refractory Epilepsy only. These extracts cannot contain more than .9% THC and must contain at least 15% CBD.
South Carolina Hemp Law
South Carolina defines hemp as cannabis with no more than .3% THC. The South Carolina Hemp Law was passed in 2014 through Senate Bill 839. It reclassified marijuana containing less than .3% THC as industrial hemp or industrial crop, as opposed to being a controlled substance.
This bill calls upon the SC Department of Agriculture to develop regulations and rules governing the production of industrial hemp by licensed farmers in South Carolina. Congress’ federal Farm Bill allows those approved to participate in pilot programs to cultivate industrial hemp.
Various parts of the hemp plant can be used to make animal feed, clothing, paper, insulation, paints, cosmetics, plastics, textiles and more. The state government imposes strict fines on those who misidentify marijuana as hemp.
Selling and manufacturing drug paraphernalia is a crime in South Carolina. Possessing such paraphernalia is punishable by a civil citation and a fine up to $500.
Breaking the Marijuana Laws in South Carolina
The state of South Carolina imposes mandatory minimum sentencing for certain cannabis related offenses. In these cases, the presiding judge has no other choice but to sentence the offender when no less than the mandatory minimum sentence amount. These prisoners are generally not eligible for parole and must complete their full sentence terms.
This state has imposed a marijuana tax stamp law. According to the law, those convicted of cannabis possession charges must buy and affix tax stamps issued by South Carolina to the drug contraband. Criminal sanctions and/or fines are imposed on offenders who fail to follow this law. The tax stamp rate in SC is $3.50 per gram of seized marijuana.