North Dakota

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North Dakota marijuana legalization groups aims for November election

ballot box


A group that wants to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota submitted paperwork Monday to the secretary of state to begin the approval process.

If approved by the secretary of state, the group would need to gather 15,582 signatures by July 11 to get the measure on the ballot for the general election in November.

The proposed measure would allow any person over the age of 21 to use limited amounts of marijuana and purchase products from registered establishments in North Dakota. The measure would put policies in place to regulate retail stores, cultivators, and other types of marijuana businesses.

A similar effort failed in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic hampered the group’s signature-gathering.


Petitioners fall short on North Dakota marijuana ballot measure


Supporters of a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana through North Dakota's constitution have again fallen short of signatures to prompt a public vote.

Their deadline was Jan. 22 to submit at least 31,164 valid signatures to the secretary of state. They did not do so.

Measure sponsoring committee member Dustin Peyer, of Driscoll, told the Tribune on Sunday that the group gathered 19,500 signatures in its one-year time limit.

Supporters already are forming committees to propose two future ballot measures related to quality and accessibility of medical marijuana -- which is legal in North Dakota -- and use of recreational marijuana by people ages 21 and older, he said.


NDSU student's sugarbeet weed control project expands access to effective herbicide


The research of North Dakota State University graduate student Emma Burt paved the way for an emergency exemption that allowed sugarbeet producers to control water hemp in their 2021 crop with an herbicide previously used on soybeans.

After screening Ultra Blazer for use in sugarbeets , North Dakota State University Extension sugarbeet agronomist Thomas Peters turned over the project to graduate student Emma Burt, who studied and reported on the results of her project over Zoom meetings to sugarbeet cooperative representatives from across the United States for about a year. 

Northern Hemp Summit to help educate farmers, producers and processors



The Northern Hemp Summit encourages current hemp producers and processors to attend its two-day event. Individuals thinking about growing the crop are also encouraged to attend.

“The goal of the Northern Hemp Summit is to really be an event who are actively engaged in the industry or interested in hemp to learn and to network,” David Ripplinger, NDSU Extension bioproducts and bioenergy economics specialist, said.

Ripplinger stated that there are many producers and farmers interested in adding the crop to their operation, but there is a need for education before making the final decision on whether hemp is right for them. A general hesitancy is also very common for those thinking about growing the crop.


States Move To Ban Delta-8 THC

An increasing number of states are banning Delta-8 THC as federal regulators verify its legality.

Delta-8 THC has become very popular, prompting more jurisdictions to restrict access to the commodity, which is often generated from hemp extracts.

Varying Responses

To limit market access, outright restrictions are being implemented and measures to prohibit the products are being considered.

According to U.S. Hemp Authority President Marielle Weintraub, states will continue to restrict Delta-8 THC and other products like it because the cannabinoid is classified as a restricted narcotic under federal law.


North Dakota's hemp regulation bill gets a facelift

A legislative conference committee has voted to accept amendments proposed by the Attorney General’s Office on House Bill 1045, which relates to hemp growth in the state.

Tara Brandner, assistant attorney general, told the conference committee that her office has seen a misuse of hemp in the state due to a federal loophole in the law.

“The purpose of the amendments is essentially to address the inconsistencies that Delta-8 THC is a legal substance,” she said.

Brandner said the amendment is aimed at cleaning up the federal law to prevent the loophole from being exploited in North Dakota.


Most US hemp grain production happening in North Dakota, Montana and Indiana

Hemp cultivated for seed and grain comprised approximately ten percent of 2020 total U.S. acreage, approximately 14,000 acres, according to data provided by Hemp Benchmarks.

By comparison, Canadian cultivators grew more than five times that acreage, beyond 75,000 acres, the vast majority of which were exported to the United States.


North Dakota Senate to consider putting recreational marijuana to voters

North Dakota's Senate could revive the question of legalizing recreational marijuana, but through a ballot measure put to voters -- one of potentially three that could appear next year.

The chamber last week soundly defeated a bill to legalize but restrict the drug for recreational use. The 50-page bill, which passed the House, came as an effort by lawmakers to head off a proposed citizen-initiated measure to legalize marijuana through the state constitution, as South Dakota voters did in 2020. Montana voters also approved recreational marijuana last year.


North Dakota could give the green light to recreational marijuana this session

A bill to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana, already passed in the House, now awaits action in the North Dakota Senate.

House Bill 1420 is seen in part as a way to forestall another ballot measure seeking to open the door to recreational marijuana more widely. In 2018, Measure 3 failed, only receiving 40% of votes cast. Rep. Jason Dockter, R-Bismarck, the bill’s sponsor, said he would rather have the Legislature have control over the laws rather than possibly having recreational marijuana in the North Dakota Constitution.


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.


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