South Carolina’s Hemp Farming Act and the 2018 Farm Bill allows hemp cultivation, processing, handling, & selling in the state. Learn more. Trying to find a reliable source of CBD in South Carolina? Here, we discuss the relevant laws and how to find high-quality CBD online.
Is CBD Legal in South Carolina? – August 2022
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other industrial hemp-based products are legal in South Carolina, though there are a few restrictions (7) .
State residents may grow, process, and sell industrial hemp and hemp-derived products as long as they acquire the necessary permits (8) .
Industrial hemp and marijuana are both Cannabis sativa plants; however, only one variety is considered federally legal in the United States.
Under the 2018 Farm Bill and South Carolina laws, cannabis plants with less than 0.30% THC concentration on a dried weight basis are classified as industrial hemp and considered legal (9) .
Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the main psychoactive phytocannabinoid in cannabis plants that induces a high among users.
Any cannabis plant or cannabis-derived product with a THC level above 0.30% is classified as marijuana and is still illegal in many states.
It is important to note that, although hemp-derived products are legal in South Carolina, the state prohibits the sale and manufacture of food products that contain CBD alone .
The state recognizes CBD, a non-psychoactive compound or cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, as an active ingredient in a drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (10) .
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) noted that CBD alone , as an active ingredient in a drug and the subject of many clinical investigations, in any food or drink violates section 301(II) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (11) .
However, hemp and specific hemp derivatives, such as full-spectrum hemp extracts or oil, may still be used as food additives or ingredients (12) .
The SCDA clarified that because hemp extracts contain a variety of cannabinoids aside from CBD, they cannot be considered pure CBD (13) .
Among the three different types of CBD, only CBD isolates are not SCDA -approved as a hemp food ingredient (14) .
CBD isolates contain pure cannabidiol only. Meanwhile, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD contain a wide array of components, such as cannabinoids, terpenes or aromatic compounds, and essential oils.
The difference between full-spectrum CBD and broad-spectrum CBD products is the THC content.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains the majority of the compounds naturally found in industrial hemp plants, except for THC.
In South Carolina, full-spectrum hemp oils extracted from whole hemp plants may be legally added to food, provided that the hemp products are not labeled as CBD and do not make any health claims (15) .
South Carolina CBD Laws
CBD has been legal in South Carolina prior to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill at the federal level, albeit in a very limited way. The state also had hemp farming laws years before the federal law was passed.
After the 2018 Farm Bill was enacted, South Carolina showed its support of the bill through new legislation that amended and relaxed the state’s existing laws on hemp cultivation.
Note that South Carolina laws do not include any mention of synthetic marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids. All relevant hemp laws in the state only pertain to industrial hemp, hemp-derived products, including CBD oil, and low-THC medical marijuana.
The following laws played roles in the legalization of CBD in the P almetto s tate:
Julian’s Law (SB1035)
The use of marijuana, hemp, and other cannabis-derived products have been strictly prohibited since 1970 by the Controlled Substances Act. This statute designated cannabis as a Schedule I substance (16) .
However, South Carolina’s Senate Bill 1035 allowed the limited legalization and use of medical cannabis for certain medical conditions.
The then Governor Nikki Haley signed Julian’s Law or SB1035, a cannabidiol and medical marijuana law, on June 2, 2014.
The bill allowed patients diagnosed with severe forms of epilepsy, including Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, to legally use medical marijuana and cannabidiol (17) .
Minors with seizure disorders were also allowed to be treated with medical marijuana or CBD oil upon the recommendation of their doctor and the permission of their parents or guardians (18) .
It should be proven that patients are unresponsive to traditional medical treatments before they can take medical marijuana or CBD .
Moreover, the law exempted the use of medical marijuana and CBD oil that had at least 15% CBD and less than 0.9% THC content (19) .
Industrial Hemp Bill (HB3559)
The South Carolina legislature passed House Bill 3559 or Industrial Hemp Bill a year before the federal government enacted the 2018 Farm Bill.
HB3559, which was signed on May 10, 2017, created the South Carolina Industrial Hemp Program and legalized industrial hemp cultivation.
Industrial hemp was recognized as an agricultural crop under the bill. The legislation also allowed 20 permit holders to grow hemp on up to 20 acres of land for research purposes during the pilot program’s first year (20) .
Forty permitted hemp growers were allowed to grow their crops on up to 40 acres of land during the second and third years of the program (21) .
The state’s Department of Agriculture and universities would evaluate the program upon the fourth and succeeding years to decide on the number of permits and acres of land allowable for cultivation.
South Carolina Hemp Farming Act (HB3449)
Following federal law’s removal of industrial hemp and hemp-based products from the Controlled Substances Act, South Carolina moved to lighten its restrictions on hemp cultivation.
The state enacted House Bill 3449 or the Hemp Farming Act on March 28, 2019, which removed the limit on allowable hemp cultivation land.
The Hemp Farming Act also allowed permit holders to grow hemp for commercial purposes (22) .
South Carolina residents may cultivate, process, and sell industrial hemp within the state provided that they are at least 18 years old and received permits from the SCDA.
The permits have strict restrictions on what the recipients are allowed to do and must be renewed annually from the issuance date.
Hemp processor and hemp handler permit applications are accepted throughout the year. However, hemp farmer permit applications are only accepted during the year’s first quarter.
Hemp farmer permit applications for the 2020 growing season closed on March 31, 2020 (23) .
Applicants that plan to set up hemp businesses that deal with growing, farming, processing, and selling hemp all-in-one need to apply for a hemp farmers permit, hemp growers permit, and other necessary licenses related to processing industrial hemp.
Hemp Farmer/Growers Permit
Individuals or businesses applying for a hemp farmer permit must pay an annual fee of $1,000. Applicants are not given their permits until the SCDA has received the payment (24) .
Aside from the annual fee, applicants must also show proof of South Carolina residency and undergo a criminal background check.
Hemp farmer permit holders are allowed to cultivate industrial hemp plants. They are also allowed to store, handle, transport, and market raw hemp plant parts (25) .
Hemp Processor Permit
Hemp processor permit applicants are required to pay an annual permit fee of $3,000 per location and a non-refundable application fee of $100.
Individuals and businesses that want to process hemp plants must also get a South Carolina Dealer and Handler License and a South Carolina Weighmaster License (26) . Both licenses have separate applicable fees and requirements.
Each processing location requires a separate hemp-processing permit, dealer or handler license, and weighmaster license.
Additionally, each facility needs to pass inspections before the applicants can receive their hemp processor permits.
Hemp processor permit holders are also allowed to store, handle, transport, and market hemp plant parts (27) .
Hemp Handler Permit
Hemp handler permits are required for individuals and businesses to store, transport, and otherwise work with hemp, apart from growing and processing.
However, retailers, including online stores, are not given handler permits and are not required to obtain one (28) .
Hemp handler permit applicants pay a $1,000 annual fee and a $100 non-refundable application fee.
The SCDA has different hemp handler permit categories:
- Seed d ealer or supplier
- Warehouse, storage, or drying facility
- Other s (broker, research and development, sales representatives)
Under the interim final rule released by the US Department of Agriculture in October 2019, Industrial hemp and its derivatives may legally be transported or shipped across state lines for processing (29) .
The South Carolina Hemp Farming Act requires hemp growers to conduct periodic and stringent laboratory testing to ensure that the crops’ THC levels remain no more than 0.30%.
Hemp crops with THC levels exceeding the allowable amount are required to be destroyed in the presence of law enforcement (30) .
The SCDA collects hemp plant samples within 15 days before the scheduled harvest. No more than 1% of the plants should have THC content over the allowable 0.30% (31) .
All fees related to hemp or CBD-testing are shouldered by the individual or business hemp permit holders.
Buying CBD Legally
Current South Carolina laws do not include age restrictions for buying CBD.
Both the Industrial Hemp Bill and the South Carolina Hemp Farming Act have a minimum age restriction of 18 years for individuals applying for hemp grower, processor, and handler permits.
CBD retailers in South Carolina also often restrict selling CBD products to customers at least 18 years of age, as per the widely accepted age of majority in the US.
The state also defers to the FDA’s recommended age restrictions for CBD products. The agency allows vapor oils and smokable hemp to be sold to legal adults or people at least 18 years old only (32) .
However, some online retailers in South Carolina and other states ask visitors to confirm that they are 21 years of age or older.
Thus, CBD oil and other hemp products are legally available for purchase in South Carolina for any person.
Only a medical prescription is requir ed for individuals, especially minors, with severe forms of epilepsy and those who need low-THC cannabidiol or medical cannabis. However, the patients are not required to have a medical marijuana ID card (33) .
The FDA has yet to generally approve CBD oil and other CBD products as supplements, medical drugs, or treatment except for certain rare childhood diseases. Still, consumers can buy over-the-counter CBD without any prescriptions (34) .
How to Choose Which CBD Products to Buy
CBD and hemp-derived products are available in different forms, such as tinctures, vape oils, gummies, topicals, and capsules.
To discover the best CBD products and shops, consumers should choose CBD companies that make the product information, such as the CBD type and concentration, readily available.
Additionally, it is best to look up stores and brands online to check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, customer reviews, or consumer reports to ensure the high quality of their products.
The BBB website features highly rated and accredited CBD businesses in the state. The website also features non-accredited businesses that are still highly reviewed by customers, such as Charlotte CBD in Columbia, SC.
Smokable Hemp in South Carolina
Industrial hemp may also be available as a smokable product, though South Carolina consumers are recommended to avoid purchasing raw, smokable hemp.
The advice to avoid purchasing smokable hemp spread among retailers and consumers after the incumbent S tate Attorney General stated in 2019 that as the possession of raw and unprocessed hemp without a license is unlawful, law enforcement officers may deem smokable hemp flowers as against the law (35) .
It may be safer for individuals with smokable hemp to keep and use it at home to avoid possible legal repercussions. Recall that you are always at your own risk, and that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice.
Consumers buying and using smokable hemp are also advised to make sure that their products are made from natural hemp rather than synthetic cannabinoids.
Synthetic cannabinoids, also called synthetic marijuana, are mind-altering and laboratory-made substances that mimic marijuana’s effects (36) . They are commonly used like vape oil for vaping or smoking.
Synthetic marijuana is an illegal and highly potent hallucinogen that can cause elevated heart rate and unconsciousness (37) . It may also result in psychosis and paranoia (38) .
Moreover, the effects of these man-made substances can be unpredictable and much more potent than natural marijuana, which may lead to fatal consequences (39) .
Where to Buy CBD Products Legally
Industrial hemp-derived CBD products are allowed to be sold in dispensaries, market outlets, and online stores under the 2018 Farm Bill, barring individual state restrictions (40) .
South Carolina does not require retailers to obtain a handler’s permit to sell CBD and hemp products (41) .
Customers may visit health and wellness retailers to purchase CBD oil and other CBD products. Many retailers and CBD brands also offer curb-side pick-ups and online shopping options.
A quick Google search for CBD retailers in the P almetto state shows a fairly thriving CBD industry, with over 40 stores and brands consumers may choose from.
Some of the highly rated and BBB-accredited CBD stores in South Carolina are Essential Vapors & CBD in Lexington, SC , and AJ’s Coastal Bliss District in Conway, SC.
A BBB accreditation is proof that the business met the organization’s accreditation standards, including ethical business practices and a commendable effort to resolve any consumer complaints (42) .
Additionally, consumers may order CBD products online , directly through the brand websites or via third-party online retailers. Some websites may require a quick confirmation that their visitors are either 18 or 21 years old.
The Cannabis Pharmacy is a Charleston, SC-based retailer with an online store that carries different CBD brands.
The sale, purchase, and usage of CBD oil and other industrial hemp-derived products are legal in South Carolina.
The legality of CBD and CBD products hinges on the THC concentration. Both federal and state law requires CBD products to have below 0.30% THC content on a dry weight basis to remain legal. Legal state prescriptions may be allowed higher concentrations to 0.9%.
Although South Carolina permits the sale of CBD products, consumers should note that adding pure CBD to food is not allowed in South Carolina. However, state policies and penalties differ per state.
Moreover, consumers are advised to remain cautious when buying or using CBD, particularly CBD products that make health claims. They are encouraged to educate themselves on CBD and be on the lookout for cannabis news, research, and developments.
The FDA notes that despite the continuing development in CBD research and the many studies that indicate CBD’s promise as a treatment for different health conditions, the agency has only approved one CBD drug for epilepsy.
Where to Buy CBD in South Carolina in 2020
The southern states have moved relatively slowly when it comes to marijuana law reform. South Carolina is no exception.
Usually, your best option for finding high-quality, legal CBD in South Carolina is to place your order online.
CBD has been demonstrated to treat pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures, nausea, and more.
As the demand for CBD increases across the United States, more companies are entering the industry. However, not all of these companies are sticking to the already loose regulations currently in place.
If you want to purchase high-quality CBD in South Carolina, you’ll need to know how to protect yourself from legal repercussions.
2. All Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids Legal | Marijuana Illegal
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Is CBD Legal in South Carolina in 2022?
Yes, CBD is completely legal in the state of South Carolina.
South Carolina has introduced a limited medical CBD program. This program allows certain patients to access limited-THC-content CBD.
In 2014, Governor Nikki Haley signed Senate Bill 1035 (also known as Julian’s Law), which made it possible for children with severe epilepsy to access CBD.
The bill also established a program at the University of South Carolina to study the effects of CBD on seizures.
Under Julian’s Law, CBD cannot contain a THC content of more than 0.9%. Get caught with CBD containing a THC content of more than 0.9%, and the police will treat it as marijuana possession.
To Qualify for CBD under Julian’s Law, you must:
- Be suffering from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or any other type of severe epilepsy.
- Be unable to be treated by traditional medicines.
- Receive a recommendation from a physician or doctor of osteopathy licensed by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners.
- Not possess forms of cannabis that contain less than 98% CBD and more than 0.9% THC.
As you can see, it’s not easy to get your hands on medical CBD in South Carolina.
However, although South Carolina’s marijuana laws are strict, there is still hope.
The state lawmakers are working on passing a bill known as The Compassionate Care Act. The law would create a medical marijuana system that would expand the current Julian’s Law.
CBD vs. THC
CBD can be made using both flowering marijuana and industrial hemp plants.
One of the critical differences between the two plants is the amount of THC they produce.
Marijuana plants produce a lot of THC. Therefore, any extracts or oils made from them will likely have enough THC to get you high. These are illegal under federal and South Carolina law.
On the other hand, industrial hemp plants don’t contain enough THC to get you high.
Since it passed the 2018 Farm Bill, the Federal Government no longer considers industrial hemp as a Controlled Substance.
What does this mean?
The 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to sell, purchase, and consume industrial hemp CBD. As long as the oil contains less than 0.3% THC, it’s legal, according to the Federal Government.
Now, how can you get your hands on legal CBD in South Carolina?
How to Buy CBD in South Carolina
Buying CBD in South Carolina is relatively easy. You can find products sold over the counter in vape stores, head shops, and natural health outlets.
The CBD industry is rapidly growing, with new laws introduced continually; this can make it difficult to find a reliable supplier of CBD.
Hundreds of new products are appearing on the market every week — some much better than others.
If you want to get high-quality CBD every time, we always recommend buying online, where it’s easy to conduct a background check on the company and its products.
We have included a short guide for buying CBD in South Carolina below. Follow these steps to protect yourself from shady CBD companies!
Advice for Buying Quality CBD in South Carolina
Before you commit to buying from a CBD supplier, take a few minutes and research its products.
The Journal of Regulatory Science has found that many CBD products sold over the counter don’t contain any CBD at all. In some cases, they found potentially harmful additives, including solvents and pesticides.
How to Protect Yourself from Shady CBD Companies
- Check if the company has had its products tested by a third-party lab. This is the best way to make sure you’re getting a high-quality product. Third-party labs can test for foreign materials and additives such as pesticides and solvents. They can also make sure that the CBD content in the product matches what the company is advertising. Therefore, only buy from companies that have had their products tested.
- Don’t buy from a company that claims CBD is a miracle worker. If a company claims that CBD is a cure for any medical conditions, you shouldn’t trust it. It’s likely trying to make a quick buck off of the uninformed customer. CBD won’t cure any diseases, but it will help you effectively manage your symptoms.
- Full-spectrum oil is the way to go. CBD on its own is a great health supplement. Full-spectrum CBD contains other compounds that provide other benefits, and even boost CBD’s benefits.
- Only buy CBD that has been extracted using CO2. CO2 extraction is the best way to make CBD products. It doesn’t require any additional heat, which helps preserve any CBD taken out of the plant. It also doesn’t need the help of solvents, so you can be confident that your CBD oil is pure and clean.
- Always check the THC content of any CBD product you buy. This is less about quality and more about protecting yourself from the law. You can only legally purchase CBD that is produced with industrial hemp and has a THC content of less 0.3%. As long as you stay below this limit, you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
Whether you decide to purchase online or in-store, these guidelines will put you on the right path to finding a reliable CBD supplier.
1. Online Shops
Online stores are the most convenient way to purchase CBD in South Carolina. If you want to save time and money, buy your CBD oil online.
Making your purchase online will allow you to easily verify the source of your oil and view the best information about the CBD products.
In addition, you’ll be able to take advantage of bulk-purchase packages and lower pricing that you probably won’t find locally. Shopping online cuts out the middleman by going right to the source. The supplier can, therefore, pass on savings to its customers in the form of special prices and discount deals.
Driving around town trying to find the right product for your needs is hugely time-consuming. South Carolina doesn’t mess around when it comes to marijuana products, so it might be hard to find a high-quality product sold over the counter.
If you’re still hoping to find something locally, we have made a list of stores that might sell CBD over the counter in South Carolina.
Take a look below and see if you can find your city.
2. Local Stores in South Carolina
Your best chance of finding local CBD is by heading to a vape store. However, you might be able to find some products in drug stores, head shops, and natural health outlets.
Even if you purchase locally, remember to go through our high-quality CBD checklist above before handing over your cash.
Is Marijuana Legal in South Carolinain 2022?
Unfortunately, South Carolina has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the United States. Marijuana is currently illegal for both medicinal and recreational purposes; this is partly because marijuana remains an illicit drug in the eyes of the Federal Government.
According to the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug.
Drugs Listed as Schedule 1 Have the Following Qualities:
- They are incredibly addictive and are very likely to be abused.
- There are no approved medical applications, according to the Federal Government.
- They cannot be used safely under professional medical supervision.
Marijuana Possession Penalties in South Carolina
South Carolina isn’t a great place to get caught with marijuana. Even possession of small amounts can lead to a criminal record and jail time.
Get caught with any amount less than an ounce for a first offense, and you could face up to six months in jail and a $200 fine. Any offense after your first is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $1000 fine.
If you’re caught selling marijuana in any amount, it’s an immediate felony, and you might end up serving five years in prison and paying a $5000 fine.
Cultivating marijuana in any amount is also punishable by a maximum prison sentence of five years and a $5000 fine.
These punishments aren’t unusual for southern states. South Carolina hasn’t made any meaningful efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Unfortunately, it’ll likely be quite some time before you’re able to walk into a dispensary and purchase your favorite strain of marijuana in South Carolina.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal in South Carolina in 2022?
You’ll be glad to know that delta 8 THC is legal in South Carolina.
This is excellent news for everyone needing medical marijuana. Delta 8 offers nearly the same benefits as delta 9 (THC) — including the high. Of course, this also has many people (and governments) question delta 8’s legality.
How to Buy Delta 8 THC
The same places that sell CBD will likely carry delta 8. However, it’s best to avoid these shops for the same reasons we mentioned for CBD. They’re generally expensive, lack selection, and carry low-quality products.
For the highest quality delta 8, shop online. It’s easy to check for third-party test results; plus, you’ll find a huge variety of products that are competitively priced.
However, be aware that the online market is flooded with less-than-great companies selling delta 8.
Here are three of the top delta 8 vendors that have proven their trustworthiness:
If you decide to shop locally, do your research before buying. Most places don’t know anything about the delta 8, which means you have no idea what you’re putting into your body.
Recommended CBD Retailers in South Carolina
All of these stores should sell CBD over the counter. They should also have knowledgeable employees who can point you in the direction of a great source of CBD.
Final Notes on Buying CBD & Delta 8 THC in South Carolina
South Carolina doesn’t treat marijuana lightly. Even possession of small amounts can lead to prison time and hefty fines.
However, you can buy CBD and delta 8 THC. Even though you’ll probably see shops selling these products, it’s important to know exactly what’s in them.
Because of this, it’s best to buy online. You’ll be able to check for safety and find better prices in the process.
Although South Carolina has implemented a medical CBD program, the state makes it very difficult for patients to access it. Currently, the program is only available to a small selection of epilepsy patients.