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South Carolina Marijuana Laws

Penalty Details

Possession

Possession of 1 ounce or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 days imprisonment and a fine of $100-$200.*

* A conditional release based upon participation in the pretrial intervention program may be granted.

A subsequent conviction for possession of 1 ounce or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $2,000.

See

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-110 (2015)
  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-190(d), 44-53-370(a) (2015)
  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-370 (2015)

Sale or Trafficking

Sale of up to 10 pounds is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Sale of between 10 pounds and 100 pounds is a felony punishable, for a first offense, by a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, as well as a maximum fine of $10,000.

Sale of 10 pounds-100 pounds is a felony punishable, for a second offense, by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of $25,000.

Sale of 10 pounds-100 pounds is a felony punishable, for a third or subsequent offense, by a mandatory sentence of 25 years imprisonment, as well as a fine of $25,000.

Sale of 100 pounds-2,000 pounds is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Sale of 2,000 pounds-10,000 pounds is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000.

Sale of more than 10,000 pounds is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $200,000.

Sale to a minor, or within a one-half mile radius of a school, playground, or public park is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.

See

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-110 (2015)
  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-370(e) (2015)

Cultivation

Cultivation of fewer than 100 plants is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Cultivation of 100-1,000 plants is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Cultivation of 1,000- 10,000 plants is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000.

Cultivation of more than 10,000 plants is a felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $200,000.

See

  • South Carolina Criminal Code, Section 44-53-110
  • South Carolina Criminal Code, Section 44-53-370(e)

Hash & Concentrates

Simple possession of 10 grams or less of hashish or hashish concentrate is a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, is punishable by imprisonment of up to 30 days and a fine between $100-$200.

For a second or subsequent offense, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or both. Pre-trial intervention and conditional release may be granted for first time offenders.

See

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-370(d)(4)

Possession of more than 10 grams of hashish or hashish oil is per se possession with intent to distribute. A conviction for PUID is punishable, for a first offense, by imprisonment for not more than five years and a fine of not more than $5,000.

For a second offense, whether the conviction was in SC or in another state, the offender is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than ten years nor fined more than $10,000.

For a third or subsequent offense, the offender is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not less than five years nor more than twenty years, and/or fined not more than $20,000.

See

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-370(b)(2) (2015)

Paraphernalia

It is illegal to manufacture or sell drug paraphernalia. Possession of paraphernalia is a “civil citation” punishable by a maximum fine of $500.

See

  • S.C. Code Ann. § 44-53-110 (2015)
  • S.C. Code Ann § 44-53-391 (2015)
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Drugged Driving

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. 

Hemp

This state has an active hemp industry or has authorized research. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa L. that contains minimal (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of textiles, paper, paints, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, foodstuffs, insulation, animal feed, and other products. For more information see NORML’s Industrial Use section.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Medical CBD

This state has passed a medical CBD law allowing for the use of cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC for any “medical condition” for which a physician recommends it.

Tax Stamps

This state has a marijuana tax stamp law enacted. This law mandates that those who possess marijuana are legally required to purchase and affix state-issued stamps onto his or her contraband. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or criminal sanction. For more information, see NORML’s report Marijuana Tax Stamp Laws And Penalties.

South Carolina Drugged Driving

In South Carolina, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she drives a motor vehicle within this State while under the influence any drug, combination of drugs, or combination of drugs and alcohol to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive a motor vehicle are materially and appreciably impaired. S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-2930(A) (West 2009).

Implied Consent

  • A person who drives a motor vehicle in this South Carolina is considered to have given consent to chemical tests of his breath, blood, or urine for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or drugs or the combination of alcohol and drugs if arrested for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the person was driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Id. § 56-5-2950.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles must suspend the driver’s license, permit, or nonresident operating privilege of or deny the issuance of a license or permit to a person who drives a motor vehicle and refuses to submit to a test. Id. § 56-5-2951(A).
  • Accused has the right to have a qualified person of his own choosing conduct additional independent tests at his expense. The failure or inability of the person tested to obtain additional tests does not preclude the admission of evidence relating to the tests or samples obtained at the direction of the law enforcement officer. Id. §§ 56-5-2950(B)(3),(D).

Penalties

  • First offense – fine of $400 or imprisonment for a period of not less than 48 hours, nor more than 30 days; Or minimum of 48 hours of public service; offender required to complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. Id. § 56-5-2930(A)(1); Id. § 56-5-2930(H).
  • Second offense – fine of not less than $2,100, but not more than $5,100 and imprisonment for a period of not less than 5 days, but not more than 1 year; offender required to complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. Id. § 56-5-2930(A)(2); Id. § 56-5-293(H).
  • Third offense fine of not less than $3,800, nor more than $6,300, imprisonment for a period not less than 60 days nor more than 3 years; offender required to complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. Id. § 56-5-2930(A)(3); Id. § 56-5-2930(H).
  • Fourth and subsequent offense – imprisonment for not less than 1 year nor more than 5 years; offender required to complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. Id. § 56-5-2930(A)(4); Id. § 56-5-2930(H).

Sobriety Checkpoints

There is no state authority regarding sobriety checkpoints. South Carolina conducts sobriety checkpoints.

South Carolina Hemp Law

Year Passed: 2014
Summary: Senate Bill 839 reclassifies cannabis possessing less than 0.3 percent THC as an industrial crop rather than a controlled substance. The law calls on the state Department of Agriculture to develop rules and regulations governing the licensed production of industrial hemp by South Carolina farmers. In 2017, lawmakers updated the law to allow for regulators to issue up to 50 grow licenses by 2018.

Congress for the first time approved language in the omnibus federal Farm Bill allowing for the cultivation of industrial hemp in agricultural pilot programs in states that already permit the growth and cultivation of the plant.

Statute: S.C. Code. Ann. §§ 46-55-10-40 (2014)

South Carolina Tax Stamps

Stamp
State Code §12-21-5020
Tax Rate $3.50/gram if owner possesses 42.5 grams or more
Penalty for Nonpayment (Civil and Criminal ) 200% of tax and up to $10k or 5 years prison or both
Additional Information
Withstood constitutional attack on the grounds of double jeopardy in McMullin v. South Carolina Dept. of Revenue, 321 SC 475.