Talk about a landslide victory. Thanks to a 64% to 32% vote in favor of Measure 5, the Compassionate Care Act, medical marijuana in North Dakota has been approved. Here at Medicine Man Technologies, we were pleasantly surprised, considering the state has strict marijuana laws.
So, let’s get into the details. As we said, medical marijuana has been approved and will go into effect 30 days after election day. Like similar laws, the Compassionate Care Act will allow qualifying patients with a debilitating condition, doctor certification and state-issued identification card to purchase cannabis (3 ounces or less per 14-day period) for medical use.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in North Dakota
- Cancer and its treatments
- HIV or AIDS
- Multiple sclerosis
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Alzheimer’s disease (Dementia)
- Crohn’s disease or Fibromyalgia
- Spinal stenosis
- Medical marijuana may also be recommended for a chronic or debilitating disease, medical condition, or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
- Cachexia / Wasting syndrome
- Intractable nausea
- Seizures or severe and persistent muscle spasms
- Severe debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than three months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects
What Patients Need to Know
- A patient may petition the Department of Health if they suffer from another condition that they feel should qualify for medical marijuana in North Dakota. The department will consider the evidence and approve or deny the petition.
- Patients may also have a qualified and registered caregiver who is 21 years of age or older pick up medical marijuana from a dispensary on their behalf. Caregivers can assist up to 5 patients.
- A patient (and/or assisting caregiver) who lives more than 40 miles from the nearest dispensary can cultivate up to eight marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked grow room, as long as it is not within 1,000 feet of a public school. Law enforcement must be notified and may perform on-site checks for compliance – 24-hour notice will be given.
- Medical marijuana use is prohibited in public places, anywhere that tobacco is prohibited and in a workplace. Driving or operating any vehicle under the influence is also illegal.
Oversight of Compassion Centers
North Dakota’s Department of Health will be responsible for overseeing and licensing all of the state’s non-profit, medical marijuana compassion centers. As we’ve seen when providing cannabis consulting for our clients here in Colorado, getting into the cannabis industry will require compliance with many rules and regulations. Here are just a few things to take into consideration.
Licensing & Fees: Licenses are granted based on merit and no stone is left unturned. Before you pay the non-refundable $5,000 application fee and if approved, $25,000 licensing fee, you’ll need to propose a location, show financials and provide detailed plans for daily operations, security, staffing, pesticide-free cultivation and more. Even your character and knowledge of the cannabis industry will be scrutinized.
Location & Basics: You will need to have proper security and exterior lighting, an alarm system that notifies local law enforcement and video surveillance. You can’t operate your medical marijuana center within 1,000 feet of a school and each city may impose other restrictions.
Product Management: Once your compassion center is set up, all cannabis products must be dispensed using a tamper-proof container that’s sealed and clearly marked as medical marijuana from your center. The container’s label needs to state the strain, batch, quantity and active ingredients. You’ll also need to communicate with patients that the product legally needs to be kept in its original packaging.
Now that medical marijuana in North Dakota has been approved, thousands of people suffering from a range of illnesses will finally get the relief they need. And that’s something everyone here at Medicine Man Technologies can be happy about. It’s great to see increased acceptance across the country, and we look forward to more victories in future elections.
Looking to enter the emerging cannabis industry? We have the experience and insight you need to plan, launch and operate a successful and fully-compliant commercial cannabis enterprise. Get in touch!