In a sign the state’s medical cannabis industry should soon get started, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) has requested letters of intent from those interested in establishing a “compassion center”.
A compassion center is defined as a medical marijuana manufacturing facility (including cultivation) or dispensary.
North Dakota was one of four states to vote in favour of establishing a medicinal cannabis program in November last year. The state did have a program of sorts at the time, but with a three-patient limit for providers, it may as well have not existed.
No doubt competition for licenses will be strong as in other states – North Dakota will only register up to two manufacturing facilities and up to eight dispensaries in the entire state, which has a population of just under 800,000. However, it is within the Department’s power to issue further licenses if access is insufficient.
Those interested will need to pony up a non-refundable USD $5,000 fee at proposal stage. Dispensaries will be required to pay a $90,000 registration fee every two years and manufacturing facilities will pay $110,000. A bond will also be required.
The two manufacturing facilities will be able to have 1,000 plants under cultivation each, plus an additional 50 plants for research purposes. Dispensaries will be limited to having 3,500 ounces of stock on hand at any time.
Under North Dakota’s program, patients are permitted to buy up to 2.5oz of combustible plant material every thirty days and may not possess more than 3 ounces at any time. There are no restrictions on vaping. Patients will be able to purchase medical marijuana products with a maximum concentration of THC of 2,000 mg every 30 days. Sales of edibles or marijuana infused food products will not be permitted.
If a qualifying patient resides more than 40 miles from a compassion center, the patient or the patient’s designated caregiver is permitted to grow up to eight plants, but they must be in an enclosed and locked facility.
The North Dakota Compassion Care Act provides for the medical use of marijuana for a number of debilitating medical conditions including cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, glaucoma, and epilepsy.