Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
North Dakota Department of Health
600 East Blvd Ave., Dept. 301
Bismarck, ND 52505-0200
Phone: (701) 328-1311
Fax: (701) 328-1333
Website: North Dakota Medical Marijuana Program
In October 2018, the Health Department began accepting applications for medical marijuana cards. Applications are open for both patients and caregivers. Patients are required to pay a $50 fee annual and receive a certification from a doctor or nurse in order to maintain their medical marijuana cards. Caregivers are expected to pay the $50 annual fee as well and are required to have a criminal background check. It is expected that in three years as many as 4,000 people in North Dakota will be legally using medicinal cannabis.
After the November 2016 ballot in which 63 percent of voters said “yes” to Question 5, expectations were high among those who had conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. However, on January 18, 2017, the state Senate passed Bill 2154, which will delay the implementation of the provisions of the state’s Compassionate Care Act.
Senate Bill 2154 suspends the implementation of some parts of the law until July 2017. It prevents the Department of Health from issuing any licenses for proposed medical marijuana dispensaries. Unfortunately, this leaves patients who are qualified to take advantage of the state’s medical marijuana program without any safe access to the drug for the next four months.
The lawmakers claim they need time to get things right, stating that it’s only a delay and not an attempt to thwart the will of the majority. This tactical delay will also slow down the process of creating a system for patients to apply for medical marijuana ID cards. The bill was signed into law by the governor on January 27, 2017.
In an alarm raised by the Marijuana Policy Project, the organization said that the legislators, who were caught off guard when the people said “yes” to medical marijuana last November, have started making moves to carry out major alterations to the original provisions of the Compassionate Care Act.
Senate Bill 2344 could prohibit the use of whole marijuana plants and other forms for treatment and limit medical marijuana to liquids and pills in North Dakota. The conservative Republican-controlled Senate will remove the existing home cultivation provision, which is only allowed for patients who are 40 miles from a licensed dispensary. If the eighty-two pages of SB 2344 are approved, the cost of obtaining and using medical marijuana will rise in the state.
A state like North Dakota that has a large rural population needs to allow qualified patients to grown their own medical marijuana plants because many patients with debilitating conditions will find it very difficult to go to urban areas where licensed dispensaries are located. Since only eight dispensaries will be permitted by this bill, it’s necessary for patients living in the suburbs to engage in limited home cultivation.
The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act allows qualified patients with a certified physician’s recommendation to possess at maximum, no more than 3 ounces of usable medical marijuana. Furthermore, patients remotely located, living more than 40 miles from the nearest medical cannabis compassion clinic/dispensary, may legally cultivate up to 8 cannabis plants.
The most recent definition of telemedicine in North Dakota was articulated in legislation passed on January 31, 2017. Telehealth or telemedicine is interactive video, audio or other types of telecommunications technology used by a healthcare provider or healthcare facility located at a distant site to deliver services at an originating site where the patient is located.
Telemedicine is currently prohibited in the state of North Dakota. Patients must have a “bona fide provider-patient relationship” in order to receive a medical marijuana recommendation. The state of North Dakota defines this relationship as being one where the physician has reviewed all relevant medical records, conducted a full assessment of patient medical history, and has conducted an in-person evaluation of the patient.
The State of North Dakota has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued North Dakota Medical Marijuana Card, permitting the patient to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per North Dakota state guidelines.
Since the North Dakota medical marijuana program is still changing their laws and new North Dakota medical marijuana laws are being enacted on a regular basis, please be sure to visit our site frequently to get the most updated laws as it pertains to the North Dakota medical marijuana program. Please click a corresponding link to find out more about the North Dakota Medical Marijuana Program. We have compiled the following North Dakota medical marijuana index of information to serve as a medical library to our users for legal reference of North Dakota’s laws, guidelines and program details regarding medical cannabis use in North Dakota.
Please note: In order to become a legal medical marijuana patient you must first have a qualifying condition as outlined by the department of health services and/or department of justice. For a comprehensive list of North Dakota’s qualifying medical marijuana conditions, please visit our qualifying conditions section located on the top of our menu under “legal states.”