Learn more about marijuana in North Dakota
Is Marijuana Legal in North Dakota? ▼
Voters in North Dakota have passed the North Dakota Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Measure 5, creating a regulatory and licensing structure for cardholders, doctors, and dispensaries. This provides legal protections to cardholders, caregivers, physicians, and employees who work in the medical marijuana under state laws in the process.
When Did Marijuana Become Legal in North Dakota?▼
Measure 5 appeared on the November 2016 ballot as a statewide initiative, passing with 63 percent support.
Where Are North Dakota Dispensaries Located?▼
North Dakota has finalized administrative rules to license compassion centers, growers, and processors of medical cannabis flower and infused products. As of August 2018, up to eight dispensaries and two manufacturing facilities will be licensed for operation across the state. Cities include:
- Grand Forks
- Devil’s Lake
Are They Medical Dispensaries? Recreational? Both?▼
Compassion centers will be able to serve medical cardholders only.
Where Can Marijuana in North Dakota be Consumed?▼
Medical cardholders cannot possess or use marijuana in any form:
- At a school, public or private, including on a school bus or on any school property
- In any public vehicle
- In a cardholder or caregivers place of employment
- At a park, recreation center, youth center, or other places open to the public
- In any correctional facility
- On the property of a daycare or other facility designed for child care.
Cardholders may never consume marijuana or be under the influence of it in a place where doing so could cause harm or constitute negligence. Cardholders may not vaporize marijuana if the smoke or vapor may be unintentionally inhaled by a non-cardholder minor.
How Do I Find Work in the North Dakota Marijuana Industry?▼
The final rules for hiring compassion center agents or joining the board of a non-profit compassion center are as follows:
- Employee must be 21 or older
- Employee must have never been convicted of a felony’
- Employee cannot have had a misdemeanor-level drug charge within the last five years
Is Drug Testing for Marijuana Legal in North Dakota?▼
Under the proposed rules for the program, employers are not prohibited from “disciplining an employee for possessing or consuming usable marijuana in the workplace or for working while under the influence of marijuana,” which could be interpreted to include drug testing as a method of determining on-the-job intoxication.
Is Delivery of Marijuana in North Dakota Legal?▼
North Dakota includes delivering medical marijuana to cardholders and caregivers in the legal authority provided to all licensed dispensaries. The proposed rules have this to say:
“A dispensary is not subject to prosecution, search or inspection, or seizure, except by the department or a department designee under this chapter for acting under this chapter to: a. Acquire, possess, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, sell, or dispense usable marijuana or related supplies and educational materials to registered qualifying cardholders and designated caregivers.”
How is Marijuana Paid for in North Dakota Dispensaries?▼
While the program does not require insurance companies to make payments for medical marijuana, the continued Schedule I status of marijuana, making it federally-illegal , often makes banks uneasy. As a result, it is anticipated the program will allow cardholders to use cash or, possibly, a debit card to make purchases like in other medical marijuana states.
Marijuana is Legal▼
November 2016 brought new marijuana laws to a total of eight states, including North Dakota. Ballot Measure 5, also known as the North Dakota Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, was passed by voters with 63 percent support. The Compassionate Care Program designed by the voter-backed initiative would allow individuals suffering from certain illnesses, diseases, or medical conditions to use marijuana as a method of treatment.
While the regulators of the program are, as of April 2017, still crafting the rules and regulations. Here is what we know from the program so far:
Purchase and Possession Limits▼
Medical marijuana cardholders and their caregivers may purchase in any 30-day period 2.5 ounces of flower (*only if a healthcare provider authorizes dry plant material) or 2,000 mg of other approved medical marijuana products. These include edibles, capsules, etc...
If a person is caught in possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and they do not hold a valid, active registration as a medical cardholder or caregiver, misdemeanor criminal charges - including fines up to $1,500 and as much as one month in jail - are possible. Any person caught with concentrate or hash product is subject to felony-level charges, fines up to $10,000, and as much as five years imprisonment. Additionally, North Dakota requires any person convicted of a drug-related offense to undergo a substance abuse evaluation.
Growing Marijuana at Home▼
Home-growing is illegal under North Dakota marijuana laws.
The law that voters passed in November 2016 allowed for hardship cultivation, a scenario wherein a cardholder living over forty miles from the nearest compassion center may be specially authorized to grow marijuana at home.
The passage of Senate Bill 2344 in January 2017 removed this provision. Cardholders can no longer grow their own cannabis.
North Dakota applies penalties to marijuana cultivation based on possession weight. Any marijuana product weighing more than one ounce can be penalized with felony-level charges, including up to $10,000 in fines and as much as five years in prison.
Marijuana and Driving▼
Driving While Intoxicated
The proposed rules for the program dictate that driving under the influence shall maintain the same legal force for registered cardholders as non-cardholders, with one slight difference. Registered, qualifying cardholders are not immediately considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because metabolites or components of marijuana appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.
Typically, since marijuana has been a forbidden substance for decades, the presence of any THC or THC-metabolite in a person’s blood or urine was enough to determine they had been using an illegal substance.
If it can be reasonably determined a person is intoxicated by marijuana while driving, fines up to $250, an addiction evaluation, and misdemeanor criminal charges await.
Driving While in Possession of Marijuana
Cardholders and their designated caregiver may purchase, possess, and transport marijuana within the allowable possession limit.
The laws do not authorize a person to use marijuana in any form while in a vehicle nor do they protect a cardholder from the possible legal penalties associated with transporting marijuana between state lines.