North Dakota


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.


North Dakota State Hemp Plan Rejected By USDA

One of the early bird states to submit its plan for hemp to the USDA has discovered it didn’t catch the worm.

While the USDA web page listing plan status didn’t indicate it at the time of publishing, WNAX 570 reports North Dakota’s plan has been rejected.


Marijuana Legalization Could Be Coming To These States In 2020

This year has been momentous for cannabis reform, from the Illinois General Assembly becoming the first state legislature to pass a bill to regulate cannabis like alcohol to the U.S. House of Representatives passing the SAFE Banking Act and forging ahead with the MORE Act. 

It’s important to celebrate these victories, but with the end of 2019 comes the beginning of 2020, which is already shaping up to be the biggest year ever for marijuana-policy reform. 


North Dakota Advisory Board Approves Pardons Of 26 People With Cannabis Convictions

North Dakota’s pardon advisory board took a significant step Wednesday in wiping criminal records clean for 26 people with low-level marijuana convictions, a first under a new policy aimed at fixing problems the records have caused for people trying to find jobs and housing.


Not many North Dakotans are applying to have their cannabis offenses pardoned

A new North Dakota program to expunge the records of low-level cannabis offenders has seen few takers so far, leading state officials wondering how to better get the word out. Under the program, offenders with convictions for minor marijuana crimes can receive a pardon and have their records cleared if they refrain from further unlawful behavior for five years.


Hemp licenses issued by State 2019

  • The 29 U.S. states having reporting licensed hemp cultivation acreage total nearly half a million acres in combined cultivation land area, a massive increase over 2018's combined U.S. total of just over 100,000 acres.
  • Colorado leads the nation in hemp cultivation and processing land area with over 80,000 acres reported.
  • Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Montana lead in hemp program expansion efforts.
  • Tennessee leads in total hemp licenses issued in 2019.
  • At least 70% of the 2019 U.S. hemp harvest is intended for extract production.
  • California is poised to be the top-producing hemp state for both conventional and organic production as thousands of acres have already been planted in 2019.


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