North Dakota


Report identifies $6.6 million price tag for legalizing marijuana in ND, but tax revenue unknown

Legalizing recreational marijuana in North Dakota will cost state agencies and local governments more than $6.6 million over the next few years, according to estimates lawmakers received Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 12.

But some other costs, as well as potential tax revenue, remain unknown, the report said.

The measure will ask voters in November to legalize “non-violent marijuana related activity” for people over 21, except for selling to minors. It would also create a process for expunging records of those previously convicted of a crime that’s legalized by the measure.


North Dakotans overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis

A poll conducted earlier this week found overwhelming support in favor of legalizing recreational cannabis in North Dakota.

The poll, conducted through Polco, asked “Should North Dakota legalize recreational marijuana?” following confirmation on August 13 by Secretary of State, Al Jaeger, that enough signatures were received for the measure to be placed on the November election ballot.

Across all age groups and political parties, the poll found that North Dakotans are overwhelmingly on board with legalizing recreational cannabis. Of the 237 North Dakotans who answered the poll, 79.3 percent support the measure with only 20.7 percent opposed.


North Dakota will vote on recreational cannabis in November

North Dakotans will vote this November on a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana, state officials announced Monday.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger said that Legalize ND, the group leading the charge to get the question on the ballot, submitted 14,637 signatures last month, about 1,200 more than required.

If passed, the ballot measure would permit “non-violent marijuana related activity” for North Dakotans aged 21 and up, according to the Grand Forks Herald.


Recreational Marijuana in ND may be voted on during November's Ballot

North Dakota legalized medical marijuana in 2016. Monday, the North Dakota Legalization Initiative turned in 451 petitions with 18,700 signatures to the Secretary of State to have recreational marijuana put on the November ballot.

To place the statutory initiated measure on the ballot, the petitions had to contain at least 13 thousand 452 signatures.

The ND Legalization Initiative says they've exceeded expectations with all the signatures they got and it's time to have recreational marijuana legal in North Dakota.

The chairman of the measure says it'll separate people who use marijuana medically or recreationally.


North Dakota: A year after medical marijuana was approved, patients still a long way from relief

The Galesburg woman was elated when 64 percent of North Dakota voters approved a ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, a move she believes will bring her relief from chronic nerve pain.

But a year after the measure passed, the Department of Health says it's 11 to 13 months from delivering product to patients and still has to receive public feedback and legislative approval on a set of rules guiding the new program. Paulson's patience is fading.

"I'm frustrated with the process," she said.

Paulson, 50, has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 16 years. Four years ago she was diagnosed with atypical trigeminal neuralgia, a rare disorder of the fifth cranial nerve that causes severe pain in the facial area.


Rocker and cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge busted for medical marijuana at US/Canadian border

Popular rocker Melissa Etheridge was taken into custody by U.S. Customs in North Dakota as she attempted to return from Canada into the U.S.

According to the report, drug-sniffing dogs detected her marijuana oil — which Etheridge says she uses to manage pain from cancer — as she was returning to the U.S.

While the weed derivative is legal in California where she obtained it, it is not in North Dakota where she was arrested, leading to charges of possession of a controlled substance which she did not dispute.


North Dakota counties probe potential issues with legalization of medical marijuana

With the clock ticking on the implementation of medical marijuana in North Dakota, county officials are examining the potential issues that may arise.

Local government representatives packed a conference room Monday for a session on the impacts of the legalization of medical marijuana on counties, as part of the North Dakota Association of Counties' annual conference in Bismarck.

Participants in the session inquired about employment practices and guidelines in response to the legalization of medical marijuana. Tara Brandner, assistant attorney general, said county governments should be left to determine their hiring practices.

"The position that the state is working towards is zero tolerance," Bradner said of state employees.


Interested North Dakota medical marijuana growers, dispensaries asked to submit letters of intent

The North Dakota Department of Health wants a better idea of how many applications it will receive from medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in the coming months.

The department asked for letters of intent from entities interested in applying to become a registered “compassion center” under the state’s new medical marijuana law Friday, July 7. The letters are due by the end of business July 28.

Kenan Bullinger, director of the department’s medical marijuana division, said an application period will follow the deadline for the letters of intent. A $5,000 non-refundable fee is required with the request for proposal application, not the letter of intent, he said.


Lawmakers Approve Changes to ND Medical Marijuana Bill

North Dakota legislators have approved changes to the state’s medical marijuana bill which was passed by voters last November and Gov. Burgum said he’ll sign it.

Senators approved regulations to the bill with a two-thirds majority vote.

Under the changes, North Dakota can have up to two growers and eight dispensaries statewide.

The organization in charge of the medical marijuana operation can add more if needed.

Patient fees were dropped from $200 to just $50 a year.

“We’re trying to get medical into the hands of patients as soon as we possibly can without compromising the safety of the product and avoiding diversions into hands of people illegally,” said Kenan Bullinger, the Medical Marijuana Initiative director.


Northern North Dakota senator raises concerns about high cost of medical marijuana

A Republican Minot senator raised concerns about the price of medical marijuana at a town hall meeting over the weekend -- making note that he asked for a fee of only $25 to get an authorization card instead of the $200 fee proposed so far in the Senate bill.

Medical marijuana would be expensive in North Dakota under a legislative bill that passed 40-6 in Senate and now is before the House, he said.

Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, cited costs that could run from $300 to $700 a month for those who smoke medical marijuana to $1,200 to $1,700 a month for those who use the oil.


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