Zoning ordinances will need to be changed for the dispensaries as one of the first steps.
Other regions include Fargo, Bismarck/Mandan, Grand Forks, Minot, Williston and Devils Lake. To be considered for a license, proposed dispensaries would have to be within 50 miles of one of the cities listed.
“Medical marijuana dispensaries are the locations where registered qualifying patients and registered designated caregivers will be able to purchase usable marijuana under the state’s medical marijuana program,” said Mylynn Tufte, state health officer, in an emailed press release.
The department of health is still working through the licensing process.
“The open application period (for dispensaries) is still several months away,” said Jason Wahl, interim director of the Division of Medical Marijuana in the North Dakota Department of Health.
“There are certain approvals that have to take place.”
One of the approvals an applicant will need before making an application to the state is proof of compliance with local zoning laws.
At this time, the zoning ordinances of the city of Jamestown and Stutsman County do not include any reference to where a potential dispensary could legally be located.
“It is still a gray area,” said Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen. “We did not change any ordinances to specify what zoning it (a medical marijuana business) would fit in.”
Jamison Veil, Jamestown city assessor and zoning administrator, said very few cities in North Dakota have a specific zoning requirement for medical marijuana.
“We do have manufacturing, industrial and commercial zoned areas,” he said. “We have nothing that says for sure where it (medical marijuana) would fit in those zones.”
Andersen said city staff has had informal discussions but the topic has not advanced it to the City Council.
“We’re waiting for some guidance from the state about what these facilities will be like,”