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medical marijuana

Seven of North Dakota’s eight medical marijuana dispensaries remain open during the pandemic.

Fargo’s dispensary closed April 3rd.

New York-based Acreage Holdings said at the time it was closing the Botanist because of “the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.”

Since that time, the director of the State Health Department's Medical Marijuana division has been talking with the owners to see if -- and when -- the dispensary will reopen.

"It's a work in progress," said division director Jason Wahl.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakotans could see two different measures on the ballot next year to legalize recreational marijuana for adults.

One comes in the form of a state Constitutional amendment. The other would be a statute.

"It is time cannabis is taken out of the failed war on drugs," said Jody Vetter of "ND For Freedom of Cannabis” – the group that is pushing for the Constitutional change. She told the Legislature’s interim Judiciary Committee the one-page measure calls on the Legislature to write the law to regulate the commercial sale of cannabis in North Dakota.

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’s fourth medical marijuana dispensary opens next week.

It’s in Bismarck – and opens Tuesday.

And there are more dispensaries to come.

"We have four additional locations within the state -- Jamestown, Devils Lake, Minot and Dickinson," said Health Department Medical Marijuana division director Jason Wahl. "They have entities who are moving forward in the registration process."

Wahl said the next dispensary to likely open will be Jamestown.

Minot State University

It’s the first of its kind in North Dakota, and only the second such program in the country.

Minot State University will offer a major in “medicinal plant chemistry.”

Think medical cannabis.

Minot State Chemistry Professor Chris Heth said most often, marijuana is either smoked or eaten.

"And then you get everything in the plant," Heth said. "That's not always desirable."

THC is the main chemical that provides the psycho-active effects. Heth said there are other compounds that may do some useful things, or do nothing.

Senate says "No" to edible marijuana products

Mar 25, 2019

Members of the North Dakota Senate do not have much of an appetite when it comes to allowing edible forms of medical marijuana. The Senate voted down House Bill 1364. The vote was 28-17. The bill did get a simple majority but being it is an amendment to the constitutional measure it requires a two-thirds majority. The bill would have allowed the Health Department to develop an authorized list of marijuana products that could be eaten instead of smoked. West Fargo Senator Judy Lee told her colleagues she is among those not fond of edible medical marijuana, but…

Medical Marijuana sales begin in N.D.

Feb 28, 2019
T.McDonald / Prairie Public

The idea of allowing medical marijuana sales was approved by North Dakota voters in November of 2016. The ability to make those purchases becomes official Friday as “The Botanist” opens in Fargo. Prairie Public reporter Todd McDonald has details...

Medical marijuana program ready for applicants

Oct 29, 2018

Patient applications are open for North Dakota's medical marijuana program.

Medical cannabis helping hundreds of patients in Moorhead

Sep 20, 2018
D. Webster

Minnesota Medical Solutions, or "MinnMed" CEO Dr. Joseph Westwater says there are currently 17,000 patients in Minnesota with qualified conditions that may be treated with medical cannabis.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Legislators on an interim committee overseeing the implementation of the Medical Marijuana law say they’re hearing frustration from their constituents about how long the process has been taking.

But the head of the State Health Department’s Medical Marijuana division said other states have experienced this kind of time lag from when the measure was passed to when the product becomes available.