Local leaders seek help with medical marijuana rollout
As the state of North Dakota gets closer to putting medical marijuana on the market, county leaders say they’re unsure how to manage the crops here at home.
Medical Marijuana is on the way to North Dakota’s patients.
“I think it’s a good thing you know if it’s going to make life better,” said Grand Forks County Commissioner, Diane Knauf.
Eight dispensaries and two farms are set to be in operation within months, but it’s unclear where—and how—the state plans to manage the budding business.
“My understanding is that they are still in the process of writing the administrative rules,” said Knauf.
Knauf says one of the two farms has been selected in McKenzie County—but the remaining farms, and all of the dispensaries could pop up anywhere.
“Right now we do not have any zoning ordinances that speak to growing marijuana and so it might fall under agriculture it might fall under commercial we don’t know,” said Knauf.
Dispensaries can’t be within 1000 feet of a school—and marijuana can’t be at school events.
Beyond that, little advice has been given to county leaders.
“We will you know rely on the North Dakota Association of Counties, the attorney general and the department of health to give us the guidance and suggestions that we will have to follow,” said Knauf.
The state is collecting fees for the marijuana business, including a 110 thousand dollar registration fee for growers, and a 90 thousand dollar fee for dispensaries every two years.
While businesses wait to hear from the state, North Dakota still plans to have products in the hands of patients in next year.
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We reached out to the Health Department’s Director of Medical Marijuana, and he says it’s possible they may use emergency rule making authority instead of going through the full administrative process, to set up guidance for medical marijuana in the state.