Jason Wahl, North Dakota Department of Health, Medical Marijuana Division, informed Dickinson city commissioners Tuesday about the steps being taken to implement the program.
The measure was approved November 2016 and signed into law by Gov. Doug Burgum in April 2017.
The application period is currently open for two marijuana manufacturing facilities, with the application period for dispensaries to open afterward.
“We would then begin accepting applications from potential qualifying patients and designated caregivers,” Wahl said.
North Dakota registry identification cards will be issued for patients and caregivers, with an application fee, annual renewal and criminal history check.
“They are not allowed to have a registry identification card … if they have a felony conviction or a misdemeanor drug-related conviction within the last five years of the date of their application,” Wahl said.
Patients must have a qualifying medical condition, defined by the state, and must also have a “bona-fide provider-patient relationship” with their doctor.
“That relationship cannot be for the sole purpose of providing a written certification for the medical use of marijuana,” Wahl said.
Wahl warned that while the state is required to implement a medical marijuana program, marijuana is still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, which “has not been modified or changed” for medical marijuana.
Qualifying patients can visit any dispensary in the state, but the dispensaries will only recognized North Dakota registered patients from North Dakota licensed doctors.
“Where a dispensary is to be located in that region is yet to be determined,” Wahl said.
There are zoning requirements for dispensaries. For example, a dispensary cannot be within 1,000 feet of a pre-existing public or private school.
Minors, defined as anyone under age 19, Wahl said, will not be allowed to enter dispensaries or use certain “usable marijuana” products.
“Minors will not do the