Measure 5 passed in the Peace Garden State in November 2016, allowing for North Dakota to join the ranks of medical marijuana programs throughout the country. Titled the Compassion Care Act, the medicinal cannabis initiative passed by 64%; finally, North Dakota moved from holding its position as one of the strictest states regarding anti-marijuana policy.
Now, interested patients are curious. For those who qualify, self-titled “Compassion Centers” (dispensaries) offer herbal relief for many painful conditions. If you’re looking to apply for medicinal cannabis in North Dakota, you’re in luck.
As with most medical marijuana programs, North Dakota has a specific set of qualifying conditions listed for potential patients. If someone has one of these ailments, they can successfully apply for a medical card.
The conditions that qualify patients for medicinal cannabis include: cancer, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s or dementia, seizures, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease), chronic diseases, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, spinal stenosis, hepatitis c, extreme nausea, multiple sclerosis, severe muscle spasms, debilitating pain, and terminal illness.
Though it is unlikely that this list of existing conditions will expand (due to the removal of the provision for a petition, since the federal government has classified marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance), state legislators are confident that it is encompassing of conditions that would benefit from cannabis treatment.
There are several important factors to keep in mind before applying for North Dakota’s medical marijuana process:
- Not all cannabis is allowed. Smoking is frowned upon, and whole flower is permitted only through doctor approval. Edibles and concentrates are not allowed. Viable options include patches, topicals, capsules, and tinctures.
- Anyone 19 and under is considered a minor. Minors require parental (as well as doctors’) permission to use medical cannabis, though they can only use pediatric marijuana oil.
- Patient ID cards cost $50. The measure originally said $200, but the price was decreased to be better accessible and affordable.
- There’s a limit. Patients and caregivers are capped at possessing a 30-day supply of useable cannabis. And in conjunction with most states, public use is not allowed.
The first step in applying for a medical marijuana card in North Dakota is going to a doctor to verify that you meet the qualifications. With a doctor’s recommendation, you can then apply for a medicinal identification card, which costs $50. The application is through the North Dakota Department of Health after applying through the help of a doctor, they will review applications and issue the cards, within 30 days of approval.
While patients have the option to designate caregivers to buy and facilitate the cannabis treatment, it’s important to note that caregivers need to obtain their own card, they cannot use the patients’ on their behalf. This kind of application process involves a criminal background check; medical marijuana caregivers cannot have been convicted of a felony charge.
There are several benefits for applying for a medicinal cannabis card in North Dakota. For instance, patients can find beneficial, soothing, and effective treatment this is a primary factor for people facing pain or suffering. There’s also ease with a card, patients can go into any licensed dispensary and get the help they need up to 3 ounces of help – without any additional medical hassle.
Some other benefits, however, are a little less obvious. Through applying for a card, mmj holders can also care up to five additional marijuana patients; for example, helping minors access their recommended dose. If a North Dakota card-holding resident lives outside of reach of a dispensary (a 40-mile radius), they can also grow and cultivate up to eight plants in a secure location. Last, card-carrying patients receive protection under the law, a luxury new to North Dakota regarding cannabis legislation. Applying for medicinal cannabis is an easy, beneficial way to heal the hemp way in the Peace Garden State.