South Carolina only allows certain patients access to non-intoxicating forms of cannabis oil, but one state lawmaker plans to change that in the 2017 session by introducing a proposal aimed at establishing a more comprehensive medical marijuana program.

Sen. Tom Davis, R – Beaufort, who is considered one of the state’s leading forces in the push for pot reform, has introduced a bill called the Compassionate Care Act, which would allow patients with a variety of health conditions to purchase cannabis from state licensed dispensaries as long as they have a doctor’s approval.

Unlike similar legislation introduced by State Rep. Todd Rutherford, which would give people with only a handful of serious conditions access to medical marijuana, Davis’ bill would not give patients the freedom to engage in home cultivation.

The goal of the Compassionate Care Act, according to Davis, is to provide patients with safe and effective medicine, while keeping a tight rein on cannabis production.

Earlier last year, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said that she would be open to discussing the issue of a more comprehensive program. Reports indicate that Haley has already had several meetings with Sen. Davis on the subject, but she has not signaled whether she would sign a reform of this magnitude if it lands on her desk this year.

It will first be up to the state legislature to get onboard with the concept. Last year, the South Carolina Senate voted 7-to-4 against a medical marijuana bill brought forth by Sen. Davis.

The latest Winthrop Polls finds that 78 percent of the S.C inhabitants are in favor of medical marijuana.

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