Updated on January 5, 2020.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The North Dakota medical marijuana program progresses one step further. On October 29, 2018, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) announced it would accept applications for its upcoming medicinal cannabis program. Patients with qualifying conditions who live in North Dakota can now apply for medical marijuana cards. How will the program serve ND patients? When and where will full medicinal cannabis care become available? Uncover the answers to these questions and more below.
Request a Recommendation From Your Doctor: You may ask any physician certified in North Dakota who has a bona fide relationship with you. In other words, they need to manage ongoing care for you. They will complete their part of the online application through the state’s medical marijuana portal.
Receive Your Registration Card in the Mail: The NDDoH expects to send out the first medicinal cannabis cards in December 2018.
Take Your Card to a Dispensary to Buy Medicine: You may get medication from any dispensary registered by the state — no need to designate a primary provider.
Can I Designate a Caregiver?
Patients who need someone to help them to manage their medication can assign a caregiver. When you assign a caregiver, they get the right to help you with some aspects of medical marijuana care. They may buy medicine on your behalf and keep it in their possession. A caregiver can also help a patient use their medication. Having a caregiver license does not give someone the liberty to use cannabis medicine — they must have a patient card.
The caregiver completes a separate application through the NDDoH using the same portal as the patient. A caregiver can help up to five qualifying patients unless they have a patient registration. Registered patients may instead assist up to four card-holding patients.
What Will the Program Allow?
Every state’s medical marijuana program gives its patients specific liberties. With a medicinal cannabis card, a patient has the right to:
Buy Legal Medical Products: North Dakota permits the sale of concentrates, tinctures, capsules, patches and topical treatments. A patient may buy dried leaves and flowers if they get special authorization from their doctor. The state does not permit edible sales.
Request Delivery From a Dispensary: Proposed rules could let dispensaries deliver medicine to patients’ homes. Under these regulations, a dispensary can deliver anywhere within the state.
Purchase up to 2000mg THC in a 30-Day Period: Patients may buy up to the equivalent of this amount in cannabinoid products such as concentrates and capsules. North Dakota imposes a purchase limit of 2.5 ounces of dried flower by total weight, not by THC content.
On the other hand, cardholders may not:
Grow Cannabis Plants at Home: Patients and caregivers cannot raise medical marijuana plants at their homes. They must buy their medicine from a dispensary.
Use Flower or Products With More Than 6 percent THC as a Minor: Anyone under 19 must use low-THC medicine until they reach the age of majority.
Protect Themselves From Discrimination at Work: The NDDoH does not have authority over employer policies. As a result, a workplace can fire someone for participating in the medical marijuana program.
Will Medical Cannabis Care Begin Soon?
According to estimates made in late October, North Dakota should have dispensaries available statewide within eight to nine months. The most significant developments will happen in December 2018. During this month, the state will issue program ID cards, and one of the state’s manufacturing centers will have medicine available. All dispensaries throughout ND should open by July 2019, but stay tuned to our website for further updates.
How Many Dispensaries Will ND Have?
With dispensaries acting as the only legal source of medical marijuana, patient access hinges on their availability. North Dakota plans to open providers in eight regions:
You can find the official map of dispensary regions on this interactive page. The NDDoH may decide to open more dispensaries or close current locations based on demand. As of early November 2018, the state already designated dispensaries for Fargo and Bismarck. They plan to approve companies for the Grand Forks and Williston dispensaries by the end of November 2018. Applications for the remaining regions will open in January 2019, with all locations projected to operate by July 2019.
Learn About the Latest Updates in North Dakota Medical Marijuana
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we strive to serve as a comprehensive source for all information on cannabis medicine. To achieve this goal, we bring together laws, research, provider information and a compassionate viewpoint. We monitor the cannabis news and laws in all 50 states — North Dakota included — and the District of Columbia.