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North Dakota Cannabis Regulations: License Applications, Forms, Links, and Other Resources

This article was written for Viridian Sciences and originally appeared on the Viridian Sciences blog. The full article can be found here.


This document is intended to provide North Dakota cannabis entrepreneurs with an overview of the state’s medical cannabis regulations. It also includes links to additional resources including license applications for producers and dispensaries. 


A brief history of North Dakota cannabis regulations

After remaining illegal in the state for over 80 years, North Dakota cannabis policy reform now seems to be in full swing with an operational marijuana program and talk of potential legalization for adult recreational use. 


After a failed attempt to establish a medical marijuana program in 2015, North Dakota voters approved Measure 5 in the midterm elections of Nov. 2016. The state’s medical marijuana laws permit the production, processing, sale, dispensing, and medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients and caregivers.


To the dismay of activists who backed the initiative, the measure was revised in 2017 by the state legislature. Among the list of revisions, a home growing provision was removed. The medical marijuana program officially went into effect on Apr. 18 of 2017. In May 2018, Pure Dakota LLC and Grassroots Cannabis were granted licenses for cannabis manufacturing facilities. However, it wasn’t until July 10, 2018, that the North Dakota Department of Health (“the department”) opened up the application process for medical cannabis dispensary licenses. North Dakota cannabis regulations call for the licensing of up to eight dispensaries. 


Earlier in March of 2019, the first state-licensed dispensary opened in North Dakota, and three additional dispensaries are expected to begin sales the same year. In total, state laws permit up to eight dispensaries. Two cultivation facilities have also been licensed.


On a side note, the cultivation of industrial hemp is also legal in North Dakota. 

In Nov. 2018, North Dakota voters rejected Measure 2, a recreational marijuana ballot initiative that would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana by all adults age 21 or over. However, activists are now working to put a new marijuana legalization measure on the June 2020 ballot.


In 2014, a poll conducted by the University of North Dakota found that North Dakotans were against legalizing recreational marijuana, 24-68. Four years later, however, a 2018 poll showed that North Dakotans favored the recreational marijuana ballot initiative 46-39 with 15 percent undecided.


State Laws and Administrative Rules

The complete legal code regarding medical marijuana regulations in North Dakota can be found here:

Continue reading here.

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