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Medical marijuana dies in SC House

Medical Marijuana-South Carolina
Jeffrey Collins/AP
South Carolina Sen. Tom Davis waits to talk to reporters after a procedural ruling killed his medical marijuana bill in the House on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

A seven year effort to pass a medical marijuana bill stopped abruptly in the House of Representatives this week where the bill died on a technicality.

The bill that would allow doctors in the state to prescribe medical cannabis as treatment for certain diseases. It appeared to be on its way for passage by the House when the House leadership ruled it procedurally dead.

Bills that create or raise taxes must originate in the House. The so-called Compassionate Care Act originated in the Senate where it easily passed, and it would provide for new state fees to pay for regulating the growing and distribution of medical cannabis. House leaders decided the bill would be a separate tax so they ruled it out of order.

The House decision shocked leaders of the Senate. Senate bills for years have altered fees and taxes. This weeks’ action could cause repercussions for the final days of the session. Next year’s budget … proposed income tax reduction, and an election reform bill are hanging in the balance. Senate Majority leader Shane Massey said he was "flabbergasted" at the House’s action.