Late Monday night, Jill Swing and state Sen. Tom Davis got the news they had been awaiting for months.
A bill authored by Davis that would allow children with severe epilepsy to use cannabidiol -- an oil extracted from marijuana -- to help control their seizures was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley.
For Swing, the law makes it possible for her 6-year-old daughter, Mary Louise, who suffers from intractable epilepsy, to use CBD oil to control her seizures. Mary Louise can have as many as 200 seizures an hour. Even after taking two medications, she still suffers between 20 and 60 an hour.
Although Swing said she was thrilled the bill had passed, there is still work to be done, and relief for Mary Louise could be as much as a year away.
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Swing said CBD oil is considered a controlled substance by the federal government, and it is illegal to cross state lines with it.
She intends to work until that, too, is changed.
In Colorado, where much of the CBD oil comes from, Swing would have to set up residency there to purchase it since Colorado does not allow the oil to be shipped out of state. Oil produced in Oregon would be another possibility, but Swing said she would have to make sure the oil is safe before considering giving it to her daughter.
Davis said he will work to form a committee to study in-state cultivation of CBD oil. The committee will report to the legislature in March 2015 -- and possibly pave the way for marijuana low in THC, the psychoactive part of the plant, and high in CBD to be grown in South Carolina.
"South Carolina is a really great agricultural state," Davis said. "We have some of the best agricultural minds in the country at Clemson" University.
"This could be the next boom crop for our state. It's important for us to have an in-state process to allow those who suffer from epilepsy to get relief."
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.