North Dakota Department of Health
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Website: North Dakota Medical Marijuana Program
As legislation changes in North Dakota, check back to this section for information about how those legislative changes will affect the medical marijuana program in North Dakota.
On August 11, 2016, the North Dakota Compassionate Care group submitted 17,217 signatures were verified by Secretary of State Al Jaeger, putting the Compassionate Care Act on the November ballot.
On November 08, 2016, North Dakota voters approved the Compassionate Care Act with 63.7% of votes, effectively legalizing the medical use of marijuana under North Dakota law by patients diagnosed with a debilitating condition.
As per the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act, “debilitating medical condition” is defined as cancer and it’s treatments; HIV/AIDS; hepatitis C; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease); post-traumatic stress disorder; agitation of Alzheimer’s disease; Crohn’s disease; fibromyalgia; spinal stenosis or chronic back pain, including neuropathy or damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity; glaucoma; epilepsy; or a chronic or debilitating disease, medical condition, or it’s treatment that produces: cachexia/wasting syndrome; severe debilitating pain that is unresponsive to prescribed medications, or for which treatment options produced side effects such as seizures; severe and persistent muscle spasms, including multiple sclerosis. The list of qualifying conditions also includes cirrhosis, nausea, and spinal stenosis. The North Dakota Department of Health may add a condition or treatment to the list of debilitating conditions, if it finds that marijuana is likely to be a beneficial treatment — any citizen may petition the DOH to add ailments/conditions or their treatments, to the list.
The Act requires the mandatory registration of all patients. Registered patients will receive a state-issued medical marijuana identification card.
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.
The service should be delivered over a secure network connection in compliance with federal and state laws. This definition permits the provider to use electronic media for consultations related to healthcare diagnosis. Providers can also use telemedicine for treating a patient in either real-time or with store-and-forward technology. Audio only, email and fax transmissions are not considered telemedicine.
The state law has not yet included a parity law. So, while private payers will still reimburse for telehealth services in the state, the North Dakota law does not force them to do so. Under the state’s Medicaid program, live video services are reimbursed including pharmacologic management visits, established management visits, new evaluation visits and outpatient visits.
The North Dakota telemedicine law does not place restrictions on the type of healthcare that providers can bill for telemedicine services. To make online prescriptions, the standards for prescribing in-person should be followed. Unlike some other states, North Dakota doesn’t request telemedicine-specific consent from a patient, although this is fast becoming a best practice among telemedicine providers.
A full telemedicine license is required in North Dakota, whether you’re consulting within the state or not. No exemptions are provided for doctor-to-doctor consultations. There are certain restrictions placed on locations where telemedicine is practiced as well. For instance, the place where the patient is and the location of the provider must not be in the same community or facility. There must be enough distance from each location that the patient does not have ready access to the specialized service.
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.”