Is CBD Oil Legal in South Carolina?
Yes! Hemp-derived CBD oil is legal to purchase and sell in South Carolina (SC). As long as the THC content is under 0.3 percent and it is not added to food products, CBD oil is legal in the state.
The question, “is CBD oil legal in South Carolina?” might seem like a simple yes or no question, but there’s so much more to it. Like a lot of achievements, hemp legalization in South Carolina encompasses its fair share of milestones and setbacks. It’s also been pretty recent since hemp cultivation was officially legalized, making it a hot topic of debate and discussion in the area.
The Road to Hemp Legalization in South Carolina
As they say, it’s all about the journey. South Carolina’s journey to CBD legalization consists of legislation and events that have sparked progress and even brought some roadblocks that need more time for development.
2014 – Julian’s Law/S1035/H4803
In 2014, Governor Nikki Haley signed Senate Bill 2015, also known as Julian’s Law. This bill allowed children with a certain debilitating medical condition to be treated with CBD oil if recommended by a physician. The legislation specified that the CBD oil must have a minimum of 98 percent CBD and a THC level of no more than 0.9 percent. It also stipulated that the CBD oil must be obtained from the Medical University of South Carolina.
Julian’s Law also opened up the opportunity for physicians to participate in a statewide medical study of CBD oil for other medical conditions.
2017 – Industrial Hemp Pilot Program/H3559
The state officially decided to heighten its crop diversity by legalizing industrial hemp cultivation in May 2017. In accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, a pilot program was established to carry this out. This program authorized up to 20 growing permits for the first year and 40 for the second and third year. Each permit holder was allowed to grow up to 20 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes.
The number of permits granted in the years following would be determined by the Department of Agriculture and institutions of higher learning. It would be in the spring of 2018, where the state’s first 20 contingent cultivators would begin sowing hemp seeds. Interest in the program was strong, with 131 applicants during the first year.
2018 – Farm Bill & South Carolina’s Hemp Farming Act
The Farm Bill, signed by President Donald Trump in December 2018, removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), created wider access to growing licenses and allowed financial institutions to securely conduct business with hemp companies.
South Carolina jumped on board with this bill. Governor Henry D. McMaster signed the Hemp Farming Act, which lifted limits on hemp cultivation. It specifically:
Granted eligibility to anyone who previously applied for a grower permit under the previous pilot program to grow hemp in SC, provided they pass a background check.
Removed the cap on cultivated acreage.
Removed pilot program’s requirement that growers receive a letter of intent from an approved college or university.
The state permitted 113 growers to plant hemp across approximately 3,300 acres in 2019. And per the 2018 Farm Bill, as long as the THC content is under 0.3 percent, it is legal.
2019 – SC Regulators Set Boundaries on CBD
On February 20, 2019, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) made a statement that drew a line between what was legal and what wasn’t legal when it came to specific conditions around CBD. SCDA claimed CBD itself is legal but not when it’s added to “any human or animal food products for public sale,”
Derek Underwood, Assistant Commissioner of Consumer Protection, explained that until clinical studies can prove that CBD food items are safe and the FDA approves the research, they’ll remain illegal in the state. As a result, South Carolina CBD shops began halting their CBD food products, sticking to selling their non-food CBD products like tinctures.
Looking Ahead in South Carolina
With the legalization of hemp, SC legislators are now considering the possibilities of its sibling plant, marijuana. In September 2015, the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee unanimously approved a bill that would create a medical marijuana program, but it did not pass.
The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act was proposed in 2018. If it’s signed into law, it would allow individuals with qualifying medical conditions to use medical marijuana. Specifically, it would provide this group with two ounces of marijuana, or an equivalent derivative, every two weeks. No final decisions have been made yet. It advanced to the SC House and Senate in 2019, but the legislative session concluded before the bill could be debated. The deadline to pass it has been pushed to 2020.
Where Can I Find CBD Oil in South Carolina?
South Carolina residents can get CBD products in brick-and-mortar shops throughout the state and from shops online. There are also smoke shops and food stores that carry CBD oils.
Because of the rapid growth and interest of CBD, hemp festivals, like the Lowcountry Hemp Festival, have been popping up in the state to raise more awareness and educate people on the supplement.
Stay Vigilant and Updated with Hemplucid
So is CBD legal in SC? Yes. Will it always remain this way? Maybe. As the CBD industry continues to change, so can state laws. Wherever you live, it’s always important to keep yourself updated with the latest news around CBD in your state to ensure you’re taking the right steps.
Committed to helping you make educated decisions, Hemplucid stays rooted in transparency and ensures our products stay within legal boundaries. So be sure to check out our Full-Spectrum and zero-THC products. Each of our items come with a QR code that gives you access to their Certificate of Analysis (COA).
Is CBD oil legal in South Carolina? Yes! Learn everything you need to know about the legality of hemp in South Carolina. Be sure to check out our products.
Hemp CBD Across State Lines: South Carolina
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) legalized hemp by removing the crop and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and by providing a detailed framework for the cultivation of hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill gives the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulatory authority over hemp cultivation at the federal level. In turn, states have the option to maintain primary regulatory authority over the crop cultivated within their borders by submitting a plan to the USDA.
This federal and state interplay has resulted in many legislative and regulatory changes at the state level. Indeed, most states have introduced (and adopted) bills that would authorize the commercial production of hemp within their borders. A smaller but growing number of states also regulate the sale of products derived from hemp. Our attorneys track these developments in real-time on behalf of multiple clients, and we provide a 50-state matrix showing how states regulate hemp and hemp products.
In light of the rapidly evolving legislative changes, we are also presenting a 50-state series analyzing how each jurisdiction treats hemp-derived cannabidiol (Hemp CBD). Today we turn to South Carolina.
Before the enactment of HB 3449 in March 28, 2019, the cultivation of hemp was strictly limited in South Carolina. Indeed, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (“SCDA”), which oversees the production of hemp, could only issue licenses to 40 applicants who were each limited to growing no more than 40 acres of hemp.
In addition to expanding the total number of licenses available and the number of acres that could be cultivated, the new law also gave SCDA regulatory authority over “hemp products”, defined as:
all products with the federally defined THC level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or hemp plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including, but not limited to, cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol.”
Yet, HB 3449 provides that “[t]he provisions contained in this chapter do not apply to the possession, handling, transport, or sale of products and extracts, including those containing hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD” and further specifies that “[n]othing in this chapter authorizes any person to violate any federal or state law or regulation.”
Therefore, this statutory language suggests that the sale of Hemp CBD products is only allowed if authorized by relevant federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the sale and marketing of certain categories of Hemp CBD products (i.e., foods, dietary supplements, cosmetics and tobacco products).
This interpretation of the statutory language was supported in February 2019 when in a news release, the SCDA declared that it follows FDA guidelines, and thus, treats the sale of Hemp CBD foods as unlawful. Nevertheless, the SCDA’s Quick Guide to Hemp Products in Human Food states that approved hemp food ingredients include “full spectrum” ingredients if:
- it contains the naturally occurring array of phytonutrients found in hemp (which include naturally occurring CBD);
- it does not include health claims; and
- it does not bear any sort of declaration of CBD.
The sale and marketing of cosmetics is neither allowed nor restricted in the state. However, given the state’s deference to the FDA guidelines, the sale of these products seems lawful so long as these products:
- do not contain more than 0.3% THC;
- are not adulterated (e., unsafe) or misbranded;
- are not intended to be used as drugs; and
- do not contain labels or promotional materials that contain claims regarding diseases or bodily structure/function.
When it comes to smokables, the state takes issue with products containing raw unprocessed hemp. Law enforcement began cracking down on the sale of these products following the release of a public opinion by the Attorney General (“AG”), in which the AG clarified that “the mere possession of raw unprocessed hemp or hemp not in a finished product without a state license is unlawful”. In addition to prohibiting the sale of smokable products containing raw hemp, South Carolina bans the sale of Hemp CBD e-cigarettes and other vaping devices as state law expressly excludes “cannabis or CBD as defined under the laws of this State and the laws of the United States” from the definition of “e-liquid”.
In sum, while South Carolina authorizes the cultivation of hemp, it takes a conservative approach regarding the sale and marketing of most Hemp CBD products. It remains to be seen whether the state’s hemp production plan, which is currently under review by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will shed new light on the sale of these products. Accordingly, for the time being, Hemp CBD manufacturers, distributors and retailers should carefully select which products to introduce in the Palmetto State.
For additional updates on changes to Pennsylvania hemp laws and Hemp CBD laws, please stay tuned to the Canna Law Blog. For previous coverage in this series, check out the links below:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
Nathalie practices corporate law, intellectual property, and cannabis law, focusing on the regulatory framework of hemp-derived CBD products. She enjoys building a deep understanding of her clients’ businesses, industries, and long-term visions, and leverages her broad expertise and international background to help our overseas companies with their foreign direct investment…
Hemp CBD Across State Lines: South Carolina The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) legalized hemp by removing the crop and its derivatives from the definition of marijuana under