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When North Dakota medical marijuana passed, it even surprised backers

Legalization Posted Nov 15 2016

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

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