Tweaks Possibly Coming To North Dakota Medical Cannabis Program

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.

Patient advocacy

Rep. Matt Ruby, R-Minot, introduced House Bill 1359 to the House Human Services Committee. The bill would:

  • Restructure the state’s medical marijuana advisory board to include representation from manufacturing facilities, dispensaries and patients
  • Expand the number of designated caregivers from one to three
  • Remove the $50 designated caregiver application fee

The board has six members appointed by the governor, but no requirements for membership.

Ruby said the bill would allow for more input on the board, and would allow a patient’s parents and one other person to all be caregivers, a change he said would benefit pediatric patients and people with disabilities. Designated caregivers manage patients’ use of medical marijuana.

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