The South Carolina Senate addressed a proposed medical cannabis legalization bill this week. The Compassionate Care Act is, on its face, a fairly conservative example of medical cannabis legislation, one that would prohibit dried flower sales, possession and consumption. 

The bill has been filed with the state Legislature for more than a year now.

State Sen. Tom Davis, a Republican from Beaufort, in the southern part of South Carolina, has been advocating for medical cannabis reform for much of his tenure. He is sponsoring the bill and leading the Legislature’s efforts to debate the issue openly.

“What I’m trying to do is let doctors do what they think is in their patient’s best interest. What is so radical about that?” Davis said on Wednesday. “What’s radical is, is that we’re letting law enforcement and politicians tell doctors what’s in their patient’s best interest. That’s what’s ludicrous!” 

CBD products have been legal in South Carolina since 2014, but the merits of a licensed, regulated medical cannabis market remain hotly contested.  

The South Carolina House has not yet taken up the bill for consideration. The state Legislature’s session ends in early May, however, providing a tight deadline at this point for Davis’s bill.

And yet: “I fully expect that given those commitments [of debating this bill in the Senate and the House] we are going to stand here in three or four months celebrating a bill signed where Gov. McMaster finally makes us not one of the 14 states who refuses to acknowledge medicine, but one of the 37 states that has recognized it,” Davis said at a recent press conference.