North Dakota


North Dakota House votes to legalize recreational marijuana

large road sign reading legal marijuana

North Dakota Representatives gave the green light to recreational marijuana.

The House voted Tuesday morning to legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 years or older.

This bill would also allow people to be able to grow or possess marijuana.

“There’s a lot of things I don’t agree with, but if it’s good policy and I think it’s going to be for the betterment of the State of North Dakota, I vote for it. And so I ask for a green vote,” said Rep. Jason Dockter, from Bismarck.

“Let’s vote green,” said Rep. Pat Heinert, from Bismarck.

“Ladies and gentleman, I have a rude awakening for all of us. If it’s not good for teens, what makes it good and safe for adults?” said Rep. Bill Tveit.

The bill ultimately passed 56 to 38.


Home Cultivation Bill Stalls in North Dakota Senate

The North Dakota Senate voted Jan. 28 to kill Sen. Oley Larsen’s S.B. 2234, legislation that would have allowed registered medical cannabis patients and caregivers to grow up to eight cannabis plants, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

Larsen told the news outlet that the bill was meant to improve medical cannabis access in the state for patients who have trouble visiting dispensaries.


Several bills propose tweaks for medical marijuana in North Dakota

man speaking at podium

North Dakota lawmakers heard several bills on Tuesday aimed at improving the state’s medical marijuana program for patients.

Voters in 2016 approved medical marijuana; the 2017 Legislature implemented the program. It has 4,450 active patient cards, with eight dispensaries operating in the state, including one in Bismarck. The state’s first dispensary opened in Fargo in March 2019.

The bills would tweak aspects of the state’s medical marijuana laws, allowing edible products, growing of plants and additional caregivers for patients.


House bill impact on hemp regulation in ND

Some changes could be coming to how North Dakota regulates hemp.

The law requires the state to sample and test hemp products.

Under House Bill 1045, the state will now be able to charge a fee for that testing.

The bill will also allow North Dakota labs to be considered for the procurement process instead of those samples being shipped to the lowest bidder in the country.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said the changes are more in line with what the federal law states.

“Federal law supersedes state law any way it’s easier just to make reference to federal law so this bill does that,” said Goehring.

Once the bill is passed by both the House and Senate, and signed by the Governor, it is eligible to go into effect immediately.


North Dakotans may vote on legalizing marijuana in 2022

marijuana leaf

Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in North Dakota are embarking on another petition effort after missing the signature cut-off for their measure to appear on last year's ballot.

Supporters of the measure, which would amend the state Constitution to legalize personal possession of cannabis, submitted their petition to Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Monday, Jan. 11, seeking approval to appear on the 2022 general election ballot.

If Jaeger approves the measure, backers can begin collecting the 26,904 signatures needed to appear on the ballot.


North Dakota could soon be surrounded by legalized marijuana

Map of America with south Dakota and Minnesota highlighted

With Montana and South Dakota approving recreational marijuana ballot measures earlier this month and Minnesota's governor and most Democrats in favor, North Dakota could in a year or so be surrounded by marijuana retail stores.

To the north is Canada, which legalized marijuana nationally.


North Dakota's marijuana legalization campaign is setback due to Coronavirus

With North Dakota among the states gradually reopening business amid the coronavirus pandemic, there's renewed hope that a campaign to legalize marijuana could soon proceed after temporarily suspending signature gathering. But because of the setback in signature gathering efforts in recent weeks, activists say it's more likely that the initiative will appear on the state's 2022 ballot rather than the one voters will see this November.


COVID-19 Killed North Dakota’s Marijuana Legalization Dreams

Right now, marijuana legalization in 2020 doesn’t seem possible for many states due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic hit, states have taken numerous measures to impose social distancing. Currently, social distancing is the only effective way to contain the spread of the virus. Canceling large public events and gatherings has put a halt on signature gathering for legalization campaigns. Recently, Idaho suspended its marijuana legalization campaign. The state wasn’t able to collect enough signatures. North Dakota might be the next state to cancel its marijuana legalization initiative.


Differing Estimates of Legal Hemp Costs Put Legalization at Risk in North Dakota

A tentative ceasefire between North Dakota’s previously anti-hemp governor and its lawmakers has been put into peril by two widely differing estimates on what it will take to legalize the plant in the state. 

On Tuesday, Governor Kristi Noem presented a plan to a legislative committee to put $3.5 million towards the cost of regulating hemp. But policy makers’ estimates were far more modest, ringing in at a total of $250,000 — a figure that does not take into account $80,000 they say the state will take in through licensing and fees for hemp farmers and processors. 


The Complex Issue of Cannabis Business On Tribal Land

Throughout history, cannabis was regulated by federal law on reservations, so it was generally illegal. But after the 2013 Cole Memo, the topic of cannabis on tribal land and how it ties into the tribe’s government autonomy became increasingly prevalent.


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