Medical marijuana availability in ND still months away

Nov 7, 2017

Riley Ray Morgan, co-sponsor of the Medical Marijuana Initiative, at a meeting in Bismarck in 2016. (File photo)
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Health Department has submitted proposed rules for the Medical Marijuana Program to the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee.

But the availability of medical marijuana is still months away.

The interim director for the Health Department’s Division of Medical Marijuana – Jason Wahl – said the rules basically deal with the “compassion centers” – which will manufacture the medical marijuana – and the dispensaries, where people can come to purchase the product.

"In would say the vast majority of the rules apply to the operations of those two entities," Wahl said.

Wahl said under state law, 2 manufacturing facilities and 8 dispensaries will be established.

Public hearings will be held between December 11th and December 14th, in six cities across North Dakota. Wahl said the Administrative Rules Committee will meet in March, meaning the earliest the rules could take effect is April first. After that, the department will accept applications for compassion centers and dispensaries.

"Right now, the program is unable to accept any applications from either a compassion center or dispensary," Wahl said. "An applicant isn't going to know what information to provide in the application."

Wahl said it will be some time yet before the medical cannabis is readily available.

"Our estimate right now is 11 to 13 months," Wahl said.

More information about the rules and the timelines can be found on the Health Department’s Website.