Wardner: Medical marijuana bill a 'done deal'

Apr 7, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson).
Credit ND Legislature

It appears the medical marijuana issue won’t be going to a House-Senate conference committee after all.

"We're concurring (with the House amendments)," said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner. "It's a done deal."

Wardner is the main sponsor of the bill to rewrite the medical marijuana initiated measure passed by voters last November. Wardner and the other House and Senate floor leaders wanted to make sure the measure met North Dakota standards – and would prevent it from becoming recreational marijuana.

Wardner said the House Human Services Committee made a number of tweaks to the bill – and he said that committee, and its chairman, Rep. Robin Weisz (R-Hurdsfield) worked hard on it.

"I'm telling you -- I think we have a good product," Wardner said. "And even some of the people with the initiated measure say it's not a bad bill. They like it."

Wardner said he's been very happy with the process.

"Bi-partisan, both chambers, nobody's taking credit, everybody's happy," Wardner said.

The bill now lowers the fee a user would have to pay to $50 a year. The original version had it at $200 a year. It spells out what forms of cannabis are allowed, and how strong the THC content can be. And a number of the provisions go into administrative rules, so Wardner said they can be tweaked without Legislative approval.