When North Dakota medical marijuana passed, it even surprised backers

When North Dakota medical marijuana passed, it even surprised backers

Published on 11/15/16

It seems even the advocates for the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act were surprised to see it pass with a hefty 65% of voters, and now the Health Department feels ill-prepared with only 30 days before the law goes into effect. Though the law goes into effect quickly, regulators don't expect the program to be up and running for over a year. But once qualifying patients are licensed, they will be able to purchase up to 3 ounces of medical marijuana from a state licensed shop or grow their personal cannabis supply at home. The North Dakota House rejected a bitartisan supported medical marijuana measure last year out of fear, but the voters let themselves be heard and passed the law themselves. 

“I thought we may have had a shot but I was surprised by the overwhelming percentage,” said Rilie Ray Morgan, a Fargo financial planner who headed the effort.

Under the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act, those who receive a doctor’s permission to use marijuana for medicine can possess up to 3 ounces that’s from either a state-licensed dispensary or a personally grown supply. The qualifying conditions include cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, glaucoma and other illnesses, including chronic back pain, a malady that Morgan suffers.

“We think there are up to 15,000 people in the state who could benefit from it and there is a wide range of ailments this could help, no question,” Morgan said

Where's Weed