How Will Medical Marijuana Work In North Dakota?

How will Marijuana Work in ND

Everyone is asking the same question: now that medical marijuana is legal, how will it work in the state?

North Dakota is known for its strict pharmacy and healthcare laws. However, the reforms undertaken have always been in the best interest of the residents. With legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, various entities are eager to learn how its sale and distribution will be regulated.

The news came as a shock when almost 64% of voters backed legalization. The legislature failed to pass two years ago. This sudden acceptance by voters had officials scrambling to solve ethical and legal issues that will no doubt come up in due time.

While the measure was approved last year, the officials asked for more time for implementation. This meant no licenses will be given out until the end of July, this year. Since we’ve now almost approached the deadline, let’s discuss what’s been decided as of yet.

Qualifying conditions

Following medical conditions are listed in the North Dakota’s Compassionate Care Act for eligibility:

  • Alzheimer’s disease or dementia related agitation
  • Cachexia or Wasting syndrome
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic or debilitating disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Intractable nausea
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures
  • Severe debilitating pain
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms

Qualifying patients

Patients must obtain a registration cards by applying with the Department of Health. They must submit the following for approval:

  • Application form
  • Fee of $50
  • Written certification from a doctor, confirming the qualifying condition and likely therapeutic or palliative benefits of medical marijuana

Access via compassion centersCompassion Centers

Two compassion care centers will be licensed to cultivate a limited amount of the drug. Eight compassion centers will be licensed for dispensing medical marijuana to patients.

All of these centers must ensure appropriate security, including alarm systems and video surveillance. Also, these centers will be subject to inspections and other rules.

The licenses will be provided on a merit basis; speculating feasibility of proposed location, applicants’ character and expertise, and future plans with regards to record keeping, security and staffing.

Each of the staff members will need to apply for a registry photo identification card. Applicants must be older than 21 years of age and must not have conviction of excluded felony offense or recent drug misdemeanor in previous record.

Packaging and labeling

It must be dispensed in temper-proof, sealed containers, clearly identifying the specific compassion center. The label must also include the batch, strain, quantity and all the active ingredients.

The original packaging must be maintained while in possession.


Patients can choose a caregiver to assist with marijuana use. A caregiver must be:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • Have no record of felony convictions
  • Registered with the state
  • Assist no more than 5 patients at one time

If you want to learn more about the recent Healthcare Legislation in the state, follow our North Dakota news blog. Stay updated with PBMs, pharmacy and North Dakota Medicaid expansion news!  For additional news about Healthcare in North Dakota visit