North Dakota accepting medical marijuana manufacturer applications
Last update: April 20, 2018
In November 2016, 64% of North Dakotans voted to allow medical marijuana, bringing seriously ill patients in the state closer to being able to access their medicine. However, lawmakers rewrote the law, the final version of which was signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum on April 17, 2017.
Next, the Department of Health developed regulations to implement the program. In March, the Department of Health began accepting applications for the two medical marijuana manufacturing licenses. The applications were due on April 19. The department hopes to announce the two licensees by May 17.
The department has not announced a timeline for dispensary applications but has released a plan for one dispensary to be located in each of eight designated regions. After the dispensary license recipients have been announced, the state will begin patient and caregiver registrations.
Decriminalization and prohibition
North Dakota has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. First offense possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.
These severe penalties disproportionately affect racial minorities. A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in North Dakota are 4.4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Please take a moment to send a letter to your legislators asking them to reduce the penalty for possession of marijuana to a civil fine or asking them to end marijuana prohibition entirely.
To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in North Dakota, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.
If you support reform and are a medical professional, a seriously ill patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, a law enforcement official, a clergy member, or a member of the legal community, or you know someone else that is, please email [email protected] to see how you can be of special help. Please include your address or nine-digit zip code.