COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Epileptic patients will be allowed to use oil derived from marijuana, South Carolina's craft brewery business will be nurtured and barbecue will become the state's official picnic food, under bills that became law in the legislature's final days.
The legislative session officially ended at 5 p.m. Thursday, though lawmakers will return in two weeks for a special session.
Perhaps the Legislature's biggest accomplishment this week has been finalizing a $7 billion spending plan. Legislators approved a budget compromise Wednesday for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The last time they completed their plan before the regular session ended was 2010.
The Legislature will wrap up its work after Gov. Nikki Haley issues her line-item budget vetoes next week.
Haley signed nearly 60 bills into law earlier this week. Some noteworthy ones will:
—Allow people suffering from severe epilepsy to use oil derived from marijuana to control their seizures. It allows people certified by a doctor as suffering from severe epilepsy, or their parents, to legally possess non-psychoactive cannabidiol, known as CBD oil. Many view it as a baby step toward allowing other medical uses of marijuana in South Carolina.
—Remove brewers' production limits. The law is meant to grow South Carolina's craft brewery business and make the state a destination for beer aficionados. It also allows brewers to operate a restaurant onsite and get a permit to sell other producers' beer and wine.
—Amend the state's old antigambling laws to allow games of cards, dice or tiles. It specifies that social clubs or groups can now gather at someone's home or community clubhouse to play the games — naming examples of bridge, canasta and mahjong. Electronic devices and betting on the games are still banned.
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