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Because marijuana is still listed by the federal government as a “Schedule One” drug, those who are in the medical marijuana business have to deal with only cash.

Banks face losing their federal charters if they would allow deposits. And the banks could be criminally charged.

The Independent Community Bankers Association of North Dakota is hoping to change that.

"We have some 40 states that have some form of approved marijuana," said ICBND president Barry Haugen. "As an all-cash business, that's  proving to be unsafe."

North Dakota Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms said he's on a "50-50" confidence level of the state attracting a petrochemical plant.

Helms was part of a delegation from North Dakota that looked at petrochemical facilities in Alberta.

"There are at least three pet-chem processors in Alberta that have expressed interest in North Dakota," Helms said. "It's not a one-off -- there isn't just a single company we're pursuing that it's a make-or-break. That increases the confidence level."

One of the companies is reportedly Dow Chemical.

"The Farewell"

Aug 16, 2019

Matt recommends it highly.

The “Director’s Cut” report on oil and gas production for June in North Dakota is a mixed bag.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms said oil and natural gas production in North Dakota set a new record.

"We had a two percent increase in oil production, and a two percent increase in natural gas production -- both of them new all-time highs," Helms said. "Oil production jumped by 30,000 barrels per day, to 1,425,000 barrels a day. And with the associated gas, another record."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

An interim legislative committee has started talking about what to do with the proceeds from the state’s Legacy Fund.

That fund gets oil tax money – and was set up for future needs, when the oil is depleted. But the proceeds now go into the state’s General Fund.

The 2019 Legislature considered a number of proposals for use of those dollars – but all failed.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The chairman of the Legislature’s interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee said that panel will be very busy, tackling a number of issues in the energy industry.

Topping the list: addressing the flaring of natural gas.

"If we don't, it's going to limit oil production," said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson).

Wardner told the Committee it’s also against North Dakota’s nature to waste anything, let alone natural gas.

2020 Census: Getting things ready to get it done right

Aug 14, 2019

Things are ramping up at the North Dakota Census office. Prairie Public Reporter Todd McDonald provides some insight into what it takes to accurately count North Dakota’s population…

If a company wants to build a petrochemical plant in North Dakota, it can receive some tax breaks to do so.

The 2019 Legislature passed a measure to give the company a sales tax exemption for construction of such a plant.

"There was an organization looking at putting a facility in the state of North Dakota," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jason Dockter (R-Bismarck). "Since we only meet every two years, we wanted to put the bill in to help along that process."

Dockter said the bill does have a potentially high price tag.

Ducks Unlimited proposing a new city park for Bismarck

Aug 14, 2019
Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited is working on a proposed new city park for Bismarck.

The park would be next to the DU property in western Bismarck.

It will be on 120 acres, on Burnt Boat Road.

"There is a beautiful valley, just north of Burnt Boat Road, that we have all driven by about a million times," said DU Director of Public Policy for the Great Plains Region, Carmen Miller. "We have the opportunity to set that aside."

Normally, interim legislative committees will come up with bills for the upcoming Legislative session, based on the studies assigned.

But the chairman of the interim Commerce Committee has a different idea.

"I would prefer, as the chair, to not have an interim committee bill introduced," said Rep. Scott Louser (R-Minot), the chairman of the interim Commerce Committee.

Instead, Louser prefers bills to be introduced by individual legislators.

Louser had a bill during the 2019 session that would have prohibited interim committees from introducing measures.


News from NPR

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a new bill to update standards for police use of deadly force. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with California assemblymember Shirley Weber, the bill's author.

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, who specializes in obesity medicine, about a new app from WW — formerly Weight Watchers — that targets children.

Warm temperatures have Californians again bracing for wildfires. But to better prepare, the residents of Ventura say they need a clearer picture of what went wrong in the destructive 2017 Thomas Fire.

Nearly two decades into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. suddenly appears to be nearing an agreement with the Taliban that could bring the remaining 14,000 U.S. troops home.

Jury selection is underway in the manslaughter trial involving a white Florida man who shot and killed an unarmed black man last year during a dispute over a handicapped-accessible parking space.

The incident involving Michael Drejka took place outside Circle A Food Store, a convenience store in the city of Clearwater and was captured by surveillance footage. It also reignited a national debate over Florida's controversial "stand your ground" self-defense law.

Drejka is on trial for the killing of Markeis McGlockton.

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Main Street

Riverboat Cruise for Dakota Datebook ~ Plains Folk Essay ~ Horticulturist Ron Smith

Monday, August 19, 2019 – On Saturday we’ll be hosting the launch of the Dakota Datebook Book aboard the Lewis and Clark Riverboat on the Missouri River. That got us thinking that it might be interesting to learn more about the boat – its story, the various cruises offered, and what you can see when you’re aboard. Joining us is Aaron Barth, executive director of the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation, which operates the riverboat. ~~~ NDSU history professor Tom Isern shares a Plains Folk essay, “The Town Herd.” ~~~ Horticulturist Ron Smith’s inbox continues to gather questions. He stops by with some of the latest issues facing homeowners.

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