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It is certainly possible to get arrested for having possession of a THC vape pen in the state of South Carolina. South Carolina's law states that all recreational marijuana is illegal and having possession of marijuana with more than .3% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a serious crime. Because South Carolina has more strict marijuana laws than many other states, a THC vape could result in your arrest and certainly stain your criminal record.
If you or a loved one has been caught possessing a THC vape, contact one of our Columbia drug defense attorneys at Touma Law Group to be your legal representation and guide you to receive the minimum sentence or punishment. Call us at 864-618-2323 to schedule a free consultation.
What is THC?
THC is marijuana's main psychoactive compound and it has recently gained significant attention in the last few years. The THC compound of marijuana binds to receptors in our brains that regulate feelings of pain, mood, sleep, memory, and other emotions, and this is why THC can produce feelings of euphoria and a "high" sensation. Vaping THC involves using a small amount of concentrated marijuana that is heated using an electronic smoking device (vaporizer), resulting in immediate psychoactive effects for the user.
In South Carolina, the possession and use of THC is illegal. This means that if you are found in possession of a THC vaporizer or any other form of cannabis product, you may be arrested and charged with a crime. Depending on the amount of THC involved and whether it was intended for personal use or sale, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges.
Overview of South Carolina’s Marijuana and THC Laws
Possessing marijuana in South Carolina, regardless of where it was purchased, can result in criminal charges for various offenses, including:
- The possession of drug paraphernalia or items associated with drug use.
- The act of having any form of marijuana in one's possession.
- Possession of paraphernalia with intent to distribute (PWID).
- The illegal transportation or distribution of cannabis (trafficking).
The charges are determined by multiple factors, including the quantity of drugs found and the circumstances surrounding their possession. Here is a list of what is considered marijuana in South Carolina:
- All types of the cannabis plant, regardless of growth status.
- The seeds of the cannabis plant.
- The resin of marijuana that has been extracted from the marijuana plant.
- Every compound, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the marijuana plant, marijuana seeds, or marijuana resin extract.
Is Possession of THC Vape Illegal in SC?
It's illegal to possess cannabis in any form in South Carolina, including flower, edibles, tinctures, dabs, and vape liquids. Having cannabis with over 0.3% THC is against the law and has severe consequences. South Carolina has some of the harshest penalties in the country for possession of THC vape products.
The state considers it a Schedule I Controlled Substance, meaning that it is illegal to possess or distribute any form of THC vape product. In South Carolina, having less than one ounce of cannabis or less than 10 grams of concentrate can lead to a misdemeanor charge, 30 days in jail, and a $200 fine. Penalties for cannabis increase with more charges or larger quantities.
Distribution & Sale of THC Vapes in SC
The distribution and sale of THC vapor products are prohibited by law, and if you are caught selling or distributing THC vape products by a law enforcement officer, you will face even more severe consequences.
In South Carolina, possession of over an ounce of cannabis or 10 grams of hash or concentrate is classified as a felony for sale or trafficking. The length of time spent in jail is determined by factors such as the amount of possession with intent to sell and prior offenses, with a mandatory minimum of one year and a maximum of 25 years of jail time.
The amount of fines for cannabis possession varies depending on the quantity, ranging from $5,000 for less than 10 pounds to $200,000 for a truckload of over 10,000 pounds of marijuana. The distribution of cannabis to a minor or within a certain distance from a school, playground, or public park is considered a felony. The penalty for selling to a minor may include up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal in South Carolina?
The only type of marijuana legal in South Carolina is Delta-8 THC because it is a hemp-derived product and contains less than .3% THC. Buying, using, owning, selling, distributing, and manufacturing delta-8 THC products derived from hemp without any risk of punishment is legal.
Why is delta-8 legal in South Carolina? The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) legalized hemp and hemp-derived compounds, including delta-8 and delta-10 products, nationwide. This coincides with state hemp laws.
- Delta-8 is permitted for purchasing, usage, possession, selling, distribution, and production in South Carolina, per state and federal law.
- In order for delta-8 in South Carolina, it must be derived from hemp that contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
- South Carolina does not allow the recreational or medical use of cannabis.
- Delta-8 products are available for purchase both online and in retail stores with legal authorization.
- Both CBD and delta-10 THC are considered legal in South Carolina.
- It is legal to possess delta-8 while traveling to South Carolina.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Charged with Possession of a THC Vape in South Carolina?
It is important to promptly seek the advice of a criminal defense lawyer if facing a marijuana-related charge. From pleading not guilty to presenting evidence that reduces charges or acquits you entirely, your lawyer will help ensure that every step along the way is taken correctly so that you have the best chance of avoiding unjust penalties and/or sentences.
There are other consequences that the court may give you, such as a pretrial intervention program. For this reason, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation right away to give yourself the best chance at beating any marijuana-related charges brought against you in South Carolina.
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, it is essential that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer without delay. The complexities of mounting a successful case and defending yourself against criminal charges can be daunting.
That is why it is important to seek the help of an experienced criminal attorney who can provide advice and work on building a strong defense on your behalf. Call Touma Law Group today for a free consultation and one of our Columbia criminal lawyers can answer all your legal questions regarding punishments for possessing marijuana in South Carolina.