Marijuana in most of the U.S states is yet to be legalized for recreational use. As the authorities are more concerned about the effect of its usage among people. Though in some states, you will find out that the government has legalized marijuana for all purposes and limited the quantity of possession by an individual, which might be the right step to regulate recreational marijuana usage in the region.
Cannabis Seeds in North Dakota
Well, apart from this, there is some state which is still struggling to legalize recreational marijuana. North Dakota is one of them. The state has a long history of marijuana legislation changes even though in 2021 there are many things to know about cannabis as the state has made some major changes in cannabis-related laws.
Therefore, read along to get to know what are the Dos and Don’ts regarding cannabis in North Dakota!
So, let’s get started:
Is Weed Legal in North Dakota in 2021?
Yes and no both!
Let me explain:
Marijuana remains illegal for recreational purposes in North Dakota while medical marijuana is legal in the state from the 2016 legislative update. That means one cannot access personal marijuana stuff in the state legally. Although a small amount of cannabis possession is a misdemeanor crime. Apart from this, the state also permits the cultivation of hemp in the region.
Well, for recreational marijuana the state attempted in November 2018, however, it was unsuccessful at that time. Even though before the complete medical legalization of cannabis, the state has faced a failure in legalizing medical cannabis.
Finally, from 2016, the state-approved for using cannabis in the medical field, which came into effect on April 18, 2017. Even after the legalization the government also pushed the medical cannabis dispensary licenses to make the official sources for the patients to access medical cannabis.
In a nutshell, right now, North Dakota is permitting only medical marijuana enthusiasts to access cannabis for medical purposes. While recreational marijuana remained illegal in the state in 2021.
A Brief History of North Dakota Regarding Cannabis
North Dakota’s marijuana history takes us back to the earlier time of the 20th century when there was a nationwide trend to prohibit marijuana. Following that, North Dakota made marijuana illegal in 1933. This was the first time in the region when cannabis was officially banned.
However, till the end of the century, North Dakota didn’t make any further changes in cannabis legislation. Well, when the worldwide acceptance for marijuana began and even the people of the state were in favor to legalize medical marijuana, North Dakota tried to legalize medical marijuana in the year 2015 with House Bill 1430. Unfortunately, this bill was voted down.
Later on, after one year, in 2016, the state voters approved measure 5, which brought the medical marijuana program for the state. However, this bill came into effect on April 18, 2017. Although regulate cannabis production, sale, and usage, the North Dakota Department of Health opened the application for dispensaries one year later in 2018 while the authorities also established two manufacturing units to make cannabis medication supply available for the medical patients.
As medical marijuana in the state got legalized, people also started demanding legalizing recreational marijuana. Even a 2018 poll showed that North Dakotans favored the recreational marijuana ballot initiative although another poll that happened in the state in 2014 showed that people were against recreational marijuana legalization.
Somehow, the state attempted to legalize recreational marijuana in mid-2018. Unfortunately, this measure was rejected and recreational legalization couldn’t happen. So, that was the last legislation change attempted in the region, which was unsuccessful.
Well, currently the authorities are preparing for the Freedom of Cannabis Act, which would allow the adult residents of the state to possess, grow, transport up to 12 cannabis plants for personal use. However, until this law didn’t get passed, we have to follow the current guidelines.
Current Laws in Action in the State
Here is the summarization of laws and guidelines that you need to follow in 2021 while being in North Dakota:
- Driving while under the influence of marijuana is illegal in the state, this could lead the offender to a monetary fine and penalization accordingly.
- Outside of the state’s sales tax, there is no additional tax on medical marijuana in the region, which is a positive thing.
- Medical marijuana cardholders can access medical cannabis through licensed dispensaries only. Although delivery services remain illegal in the state.
- Home cultivation or sharing marijuana with minors are huge punishable offenses in North Dakota.
- Before accessing medical marijuana in the state, one needs to get registered with the marijuana program’s online registration portal and get issued an ID card. Accessing medical marijuana without a card is not allowed.
Overall, currently, the state has very strict guidelines for recreational cannabis, and therefore, you are recommended to follow the local laws and rules to avoid any kind of legal issues.
Possession, Cultivation, And Consumption
Personal cannabis possession under half an ounce is a class B misdemeanor that can lead the offender to a maximum of 30 days imprisonment along with a $1,000 fine. While the same amount of possession made while operating a motor vehicle is a Class A misdemeanor punishable with up to a maximum of one-year imprisonment and a maximum of $1,000 fine. As recreational marijuana remains illegal in the state, therefore, the authorities have such harsh penalties.
Cultivating cannabis plants either for personal or medical usage is illegal in North Dakota in 2021. Cultivation-related offenses hold similar penalties to the possession depending upon the quantity of marijuana seized.
Consuming marijuana in public places or workplaces remains prohibited. Also, marijuana consumption where minors are involved remains illegal. Vaping in non-smoking zones also remains restricted.
Apart from this, the state law has illegalized marijuana consumption while driving a motor vehicle and this offense could lead the offender to a monetary fine and jail depending upon the severity and repetition of the crime.
Medical Marijuana in State
Before medical marijuana’s complete legalization, there was an unsuccessful attempt that occurred in the year 2015. However, just after a year, in 2016, Measure 5 was approved by the state voters, which actually established medical marijuana program in the state. Well, within one year some changes happened in the bill such as the removal of the provision allowing medical users to grow their own marijuana.
Ultimately, this medical legalization took effect in the year 2017 completely, and just after one year in 2018, the North Dakota Department of Health opened two manufacturing units two fulfill the supply of medical cannabis. Well, since then this law has remained stable and no further changes were made.
As the medical marijuana program was launched in the region, authorities introduced a state-issued medical marijuana ID card so that only state residents can get cannabis medication. Getting issued this card included a process, however, before that, the patient needs to get a physician’s certification for approval of cannabis treatment.
However, once the medical ID card gets issued, the patient is free to access medical cannabis from the state-authorized stores in the region. Qualifying conditions and process to get a marijuana card is as followed:
- Anxiety disorder
- Agitation from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Anorexia nervosa
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Brain injury
- Bulimia nervosa
- Cachexia or Wasting syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- A chronic or debilitating disease
- Hepatitis C
- Interstitial cystitis
- Intractable nausea
- Multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
- Severe debilitating pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Tourette syndrome
How to get a medical marijuana card in North Dakota?
So, if the patient is suffering from any of the medical symptoms mentioned above, he or she can access medical marijuana from the state-authorized dispensary. However, even to get cannabis medication from the state-authorized dispensaries, one need to get issued medical marijuana program’s ID card first, for which the process is as followed:
Step 1. To apply for a medical marijuana ID card, the patient must be 19 years or older to get an ID card issued. Also, while applying for the ID card online, patients need to prove their residency in the North Dakota region. Well, if a patient is minor then the guardian or their parents can apply on their behalf.
Step 2. After filling out the online application, provide your digital copy of state residency proof. Upload the photo as well. The patient can also designate the caregiver if needed.
Step 3. Once the application is filed, pay the processing fee of $50, which is non-refundable. However, paying the charges will complete your application and ultimately your application will be submitted for approval.
So, within these three simple steps, you can apply for the medical marijuana program’s ID card in North Dakota. Once your application gets approved and an ID card is issued, you can visit the nearest dispensary for accessing medical marijuana.
Apart from this, the state’s medical marijuana program doesn’t accept the other states’ marijuana ID cards and therefore, the patient needs to be a resident of the state for getting this facility.
Some Important FAQs
#1. What is the minimum drug sentence for possession?
Possession of a large quantity of marijuana can lead the offender to up to 30 days jail and a monetary fine of up to $1,500.
#2. How can I grow marijuana plants in North Dakota?
Cultivating marijuana plants for personal usage is illegal in the state and this can lead to penalization accordingly. However, cultivating hemp is legal in North Dakota.
#3. Where can I consume marijuana in ND?
You can consume only medical marijuana legally. Consumption of marijuana must be made in private space. Public possession and consumption are illegal which can lead to huge monetary penalties and imprisonment.
#4. How much time it will take to get my marijuana ID card issued?
It depends upon the authorities. However, once the authorities are satisfied with the information you have provided, you will get your marijuana card issued immediately.
#5. When will recreational marijuana be legalized in ND?
We cannot predict the future. However, currently, the authorities are planning for a legislation update, which might legalize adult use of cannabis in the upcoming time.
Future of Cannabis in North Dakota
North Dakota has a history of continuously changing marijuana laws although currently the state is permitting only medical marijuana and encouraging the dispensaries to make medical marijuana available easily. However, if the state will legalize recreational marijuana in the future then there will be more big opportunities for marijuana enthusiasts in the state.
Additionally, new cannabis businesses will make new ways for the state’s revenue like other states where complete marijuana legalization is already in effect.
Therefore, the future of cannabis in North Dakota might be brighter if lawmakers legalize marijuana and encourage new businesses in the state.