A bill to legalize medical marijuana in South Carolina officially passed the Senate on third reading on Thursday, sending the reform measure to the House of Representatives for consideration. While final passage in the Senate was expected after Wednesday’s initial bipartisan vote to advance the bill from Sen. Tom Davis (R) on second reading, Thursday’s voice vote means the legislation will now be formally transmitted to the other body of the bicameral legislature. The Compassionate Care Act was prefilled in late 2020 and passed out of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee last March, but a lone senator blocked it from reaching the chamber floor in 2021. Since then, Davis redoubled his efforts to get the bill across the finish line, arguing that South Carolina voters are ready for what he’s repeatedly called “the most conservative medical cannabis bill in the country.”. The senator said last month that House Speaker Jay Lucas (R) agreed to “allow the bill to go through the House process” if it advanced through the Senate, but a spokesperson for the speaker later told The Charleston Post and Courier that “Sen. Davis doesn’t speak for Speaker Lucas.” Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said earlier this week that it was too early to comment on the proposal, as changes were still being made by lawmakers. “This is one that’s going to depend on a lot of things,” he told a local FOX station, adding that he’ll wait to see the final version before deciding whether he would potentially sign or veto the bill if it were to arrive on his desk.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 02/10/2022 12:45:00