Medical marijuana was legalized in North Dakota in November of 2016 after a failed attempt in 2012. Despite legalization a few years ago, the medical marijuana program has been slow to get off the ground. Due to the extensive list of rules and regulations, many marijuana dispensaries have gone bankrupt and closed their doors. These regulations include extra doctor approval to smoke actual weed and the fact that edibles and concentrates are illegal. Because it is so hard to get approved as a medical marijuana patient in North Dakota many either don’t try and dispensaries don’t have a large enough target market to thrive.
As for recreational marijuana, North Dakota has decriminalized it on a state level but only for small amounts. Less than half an ounce of marijuana is given a $1,000 fine and no jail time, but any more will constitute jail time and massive fines.
Buying marijuana in North Dakota is super limited as the medical marijuana program is very new and quite small. Dispensaries limit the variety of marijuana products and impose certain rules based on age and additional doctor recommendations. North Dakota only legally allowed 8 dispensaries to open with no more than two cultivators.
For those who hold valid North Dakota medical marijuana cards, they are allowed to enter state-licensed dispensaries with their MMJ card and government ID on hand. North Dakota citizens have 8 dispensaries across the state to choose from making it a tedious and often long drive to visit a dispensary close to you.
Marijuana delivery services of any time are not permitted in the state of North Dakota. This means that a patient or caregiver must physically enter a dispensary to purchase medical marijuana. There have been no changes or attempts to change this law since its legalization and will most likely stay this way for a while.
Medical marijuana dispensaries do not stay open later than 8:00 pm in North Dakota. Half of the dispensaries are open from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm while the other half is open from
10:00 am – 7:00 pm. For many in North Dakota, dispensaries can be located far away from their residence so always be sure to check out the dispensary website for more information about store hours and products.
Purchasing restrictions are exceedingly complex in North Dakota as they have different restrictions on different marijuana products.
In summary, medical marijuana is extremely hard to generalize because each doctor will give their recommendation on what users can or cannot consume and how much they consume. But don’t worry, all of this information will be illustrated on your medical marijuana card and budtenders have been trained to help patients understand these complicated limits.
As mentioned above, the availability of products depends on the individual user. Each patient must respect their prescription which can limit whether or not a patient may smoke marijuana. Edibles, however, are not permitted in the state whatsover, but marijuana can be orally ingested through pill forms. Users are also allowed to purchase cannabis-infused tinctures, patches, or topicals. The availability of marijuana is extremely limited under North Dakotan regulations, but budtenders will guide a patient through this process.
Recreational marijuana is still illegal across the state of North Dakota meaning any sale of marijuana that is not medical is illegal and does not go through a proper system of taxes and regulation. Since recreational bills have not been fully drafted yet, it is unclear on how North Dakota would implement taxation on recreational marijuana.
There is no excise tax for medical marijuana in North Dakota. Instead, medical patients are required to pay the standard sales tax of 5% across the state. Some areas impose local taxes, but this is becoming rarer. Therefore, one can just expect to pay the 5% sales tax upon the final transaction of medical marijuana.
Any patient that obtains a recommendation from their physician can legally possess up to 3 ounces of medical marijuana products. However, if a patient has a standard medical marijuana recommendation, they are not allowed to purchase or obtain actual flower. Therefore, if it is not flower, then possession limits abide by the amount of THC a patient possesses. This means that a standard medical marijuana patient is not allowed to obtain more than 2,000 milligrams of THC per 30-day period. Finally, if a patient is diagnosed with cancer, doctors are legally allowed to recommend up to 6 ounces of medical marijuana or its equivalent in other products per month. So, the possession limits are also determined by each individual's condition. If this seems confusing, don’t worry. Your doctor will guide you through possession limits and will never recommend an illegal amount.
The only place one can legally smoke or consume cannabis is in the privacy of their own homes outside of the public eye. But always make sure that nobody under the age of 18 is present, and your consumption of cannabis will not harm anyone around you. There have been no businesses to allow the consumption of marijuana, so your best bet is to always wait until you get home.
Areas in North Dakota that DO allow the use of marijuana:
Areas in North Dakota that DO NOT allow the use of marijuana:
Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level meaning that any place owned by the federal government must abide by federal regulations. Therefore, if you are in the Theodore Roosevelt National Forest, you must not consume or possess any cannabis, or else you could get in serious trouble.
In November of 2016, medical marijuana was finally legalized in North Dakota but started very small. Dispensaries didn’t become operational until March of 2019. Unfortunately, medical marijuana dispensaries have been struggling greatly in North Dakota as rules and regulations limit their product base and extensive marijuana testing leaves little supply to sell. Patients are also limited to certain products and it takes extra appointments and recommendations to purchase actual bud. Another major hindrance in the North Dakota medical marijuana program is the edibles are not allowed and patients must consume capsules or THC infused oils rather than baked goods.
To obtain a medical card in North Dakota a patient must follow the steps below. It is important to note that obtaining a med card, although a simple process, is often hard as many doctors don’t recognize medical marijuana and there are limited qualifying conditions.
1. Schedule an appointment with your physician or health care provider. During the appointment obtain a doctor’s recommendation and certification of one’s qualifying condition.
2. Next, fill out and submit the medical marijuana application on the North Dakota state website with your doctor’s recommendation.
3. The state will review your application and if approved, a medical card will be issued (1) in temporary form over email and then (2) a hardcopy will be mailed.
Unfortunately, North Dakota does not recognize out of state medical marijuana cards. That means no matter your condition, you must be a North Dakota resident with a valid medical marijuana card to purchase weed in North Dakota. There have been no acts or drafts to change the reciprocity rules in North Dakota.
Just like many other states, you have to be cautious when transporting marijuana in North Dakota. The state does allow patients or caregivers to drive with marijuana in their cards so long as it is sealed. One is not allowed to open marijuana in either the dispensary or their car and it should remain in the original packaging after purchase from the dispensary until you get home. Also, when driving be sure to keep your sash out of reach of the driver meaning it must either be in the trunk or behind the back seat and NOT in the glovebox.
Driving while under the influence of marijuana is a very dangerous and reckless thing to do. Therefore, no state allows for one to drive high and it should never be attempted. North Dakota brings penalties just like drinking and driving to anyone who is caught seeming impaired or under the influence of marijuana. There is also a no-tolerance limit to driving high. So if you are pulled over, tested, and an officer finds marijuana within your system, you will lose your license and face fines and possible jail time.
Despite legalization across some states, driving across state lines remains illegal. For the same reason smoking on federal lands is illegal, driving across a state border is illegal. State lines are controlled by the federal government where weed of any kind is illegal. Therefore, cops will be looking for people who leave a state with their goods and it will lead to serious trouble.
Growing marijuana of any kind or amount is illegal in the state of North Dakota. Only licensed cultivators are allowed to harvest marijuana and supply them to dispensaries. Growing personal marijuana is considered a felony in North Dakota which leads to fines and a mandatory minimum sentence. Therefore, the only way to truly obtain cannabis in North Dakota is to purchase it through a licensed medical dispensary with your valid medical marijuana card.