Minot state Senator proposes allowing people to grow their own medical marijuana

Mar 23, 2017

Sen. Oley Larsen (R-Minot).
Credit ND Legislature

Sen. Judy Lee (R-West Fargo).
Credit ND Legislature

A state Senator wants to allow people on medical marijuana who aren’t close to one of the specified “grow centers” or dispensaries to be allowed to grow their own.

Sen. Oley Larsen (R-Minot) offered an amendment to the medical marijuana bill to the House Human Services Committee, which is now looking at the measure.

"If someone from Crosby needs that therapy, they're not going to go to Fargo or Bismarck, where those centers will likely be," Larson said. "If we're going to allow them to smoke it, let it be as easy and unobstructed as possible. That's what we're trying to do."

Voters overwhelmingly approved the use of medical marijuana by initiated measure last November. The Legislature is looking to rewrite the measure to make it conform to North Dakota laws and standards.

The initiated measure allowed people to grow their own if they were 40 miles or more from a dispensary or grow center. Larsen said those who would grow their own  would have to register – and that list would be public.

"People can go to Colorado and get a sample with seeds in it," Larson said. "I can bring it back here and put it in my pot and have them in the basement under a grow light, and I'm done. I'm not going to bother anybody."

But Senate Human Services Committee chair Judy Lee (R-West Fargo) said the state doesn’t have the resources to make sure all home growers follow the rules.

"We just can't have it grown in every windowsill, and be able to control what's happening," Lee said.

The House committee has not yet taken action on the bill. Other amendments have been offered – and if they’re approved by the Committee, and adopted by the House, it would go back to the Senate – and will likely end up in a conference committee.