North Dakota Medical Marijuana Laws
In November 2016, North Dakota medical marijuana laws changed drastically when voters approved Measure 5, also known as the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act. The measure was overwhelmingly approved by a 64 to 32 percent margin, opening the door for people suffering from a wide range of conditions to finally have access to medical cannabis.
Inside the Act
The new act changes medical marijuana law in North Dakota by allowing residents suffering from certain conditions to obtain medical cannabis from so-called “compassion centers,” or dispensaries, that are licensed by the state. If a patient lives more than 40 miles from one of these centers, they are allowed to cultivate as many as eight plants on their property.
In addition, the act calls for the creation of a registration system consisting of patient identification cards. A patient using medical marijuana will have to carry this card so police and compassion centers can verify the person can legally possess weed. Patients will be allowed to have up to three ounces of medical marijuana they purchased through a compassion center.
Certain “common sense” restrictions still apply, such as making it illegal to consume medical cannabis publicly or to drive under the influence of the plant.
These are the qualifying conditions under the new North Dakota medical marijuana law:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic Pain
- Crohn’s Disease
- Failure to Thrive/Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome
- Hepatitis C
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal Stenosis
The North Dakota legislature was largely caught off guard by the vote. As a result, some lawmakers called for a delay in implementing this area of marijuana law in North Dakota. In January 2017, the House and Senate called a rare joint meeting to discuss delaying implementation until the end of July — it was originally supposed to take effect in December of 2016.
One lawmaker told The Associated Press that the delay was not in any way meant to “try to stop the process,” adding that “everybody respects the will of the people.” Instead, leaders say, they need more time so that state law enforcement and health officials can determine issues such as what forms of medical pot will be allowed, the potency of medical weed that will be allowed, how to oversee distributors, etc.
The governor of the state eventually signed off on the delay on January 26.
A MarijuanaDoctors.com, we applaud voters for approving this much needed — and long overdue — change to North Dakota medical marijuana law. We hope, and trust, that legislators will respect the will of the people and help patients who are suffering access the medical cannabis they need to find relief from their symptoms. We will continue to keep you updated regarding developments on this issue as they warrant, so please check back with us often.