Public Hearing on North Dakota’s Medical Marijuana Administrative Rules

Residents of Cass County Speak to North Dakota Health Officials About the State's Medical Marijuana Law

FARGO, ND — North Dakota Health Officials held a public hearing to let community members give their input on the administrative rules for the state’s medical marijuana law.

The law was approved in November of 2016 and has not yet been implemented.

“I myself am a medical cannabis card holder,” said Ralph Reynolds, who lives in Fargo. “I have it right here, through the state of California. I took a felony charge this September because I was under the impression that we were a medical state and I had a medical card and I got off all of my pharmaceutical medications, which costs me a lot of money, which have a lot of side effects and now I’m back on them again because I had to take a charge.”

Reynolds is just one person concerned that the state’s medical marijuana law has not yet been implemented.

It passed with 64 percent of the vote in November of 2016 but some are wondering why it may not be in effect until late 2018.

“If a client asked me a year ago to do something and I’m not going to have it ready for another year from today, do you think he would be my client?” asked Ray Morgan, who lives in Fargo.

“I take opioids for my pain, for my MS pain, and if I could switch tomorrow I would,” Michael Olsen of Fargo said.

Other concerns include what this means financially for the State.

For farmers, the cost of submitting to grow marijuana plants seems steep, especially because only two people will be selected.

“If I’m not chosen for that, then I’ve forfeited $5,000, which I’m not really sure where that went,” said local farmer, Jamie Edwards. “It just went out of my pocket somewhere.”

Overall, people say they are tired of the wait.

“We know what we voted for,” Reynolds said. “We signed the petitions, we got out, we voted, and we were basically told, sorry you’re not going to get what you want.”

Oral and written comments on the proposed rules must be submitted to the North Dakota Department of Health by December 26th.

To learn more about how to submit your input, click here.

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