Is Weed Legal in North Dakota?

Is recreational cannabis legal in North Dakota? Is medicinal marijuana legal in North Dakota? What about North Dakota's CBD laws? Find out about the weed laws in North Dakota in this article.

Ranked the best-run state in the U.S. in 2012, North Dakota boasts some of the lowest unemployment levels in the country, as well as a bustling agriculture industry. North Dakota earned the nickname of 'The Roughrider State' due to its vast open plains and its abundant wildlife.

North Dakota has also been nicknamed the Peace Garden State due to the international peace garden that straddles the boundary between North Dakota and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The Peace Garden is symbolic of the relationship between the two nations. The garden itself spans over 2300 acres and plants over 100,000 plants annually. North Dakota also grows more Sunflowers than any other state in the country.

North Dakota isn't only known for its rich horticulture. The roughrider state was also home to Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th US President. Teddy Roosevelt was sent to live in North Dakota for health reasons before he became president. As a matter of fact, the name 'Roughrider State' is attributed to the first U.S. Volunteer Cavalry that Theodore Roosevelt coordinated to serve in the Spanish-American War.

This all begs the question; does the rural roughriders state allow for cannabis consumption?

Let us delve into the laws of cannabis in North Dakota in this article.

Is recreational cannabis legal in North Dakota?

Despite North Dakota's beautiful rural landscape and vast open plains filled with gorgeous gardens, the State is quite conservative in regards to cannabis. The recreational use of cannabis is illegal in North Dakota.

Cannabis was outlawed in North Dakota back in 1933 and has remained illegal since. North Dakota is actually quite stern on recreational marijuana users. In fact, small amounts of possession is a misdemeanor crime. Possession of 1 ounce is punishable by a $1500 fine, 30 days in jail, and a criminal record. Possession of anything north of 1 ounce is a felony, which can result in substantial jail time and a maximum fine of $20,000.

The laws previously stated only pertain to dried flowers. Possessing cannabis in the form of hashish or any type of concentrate is a serious offense. Concentrated cannabis possession is considered a felony with up to 5 years imprisonment.

Although North Dakota's laws regarding cannabis are quite harsh, first-time offenders are subject to having their crimes expunged subsequent to serving probation.

North Dakota's laws surrounding cannabis are strict, however, the state has made an attempt at legalization. In November 2018, the state voted on recreational marijuana legalization. Unfortunately, the measure was rejected by 59% to 41%. Nevertheless, recreational marijuana legalization will be on the ballot again in November 2020.

The cannabis plant would make for a great addition to the International Peace Garden.

Is medicinal marijuana legal in North Dakota?

In contrast to recreational cannabis laws, medical marijuana is in fact legal in North Dakota. In 2016 North Dakota voters accepted measure 5. The measure established a comprehensive medical marijuana program for the state. By 2017, North Dakota fully materialized the program and allowed for the production, distribution, and use of medical marijuana.

The North Dakota Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative didn't happen on the first attempt. Previous to 2016, North Dakota voters attempted to pass a similar initiative in 2012. The bill failed to reach the ballot after thousands of signatures were determined to be fraudulent.

In order to qualify for a medical marijuana license in North Dakota, one must have a debilitating disease. These diseases include Crohn's disease, endometriosis, epilepsy, and fibromyalgia. Under the law, with a certificate from a licensed physician, one can possess up to 3 ounces of dried flower.

The medical marijuana law allows for the sale and use of cannabis tinctures, oils, and capsules. If a patient intends to smoke dried flowers then they need to gain authorization from the licensing physician beforehand. Cannabis in the form of edibles and concentrates is prohibited.

The laws also allow for a patient to cultivate their own cannabis if they are more than 40 miles away from the nearest dispensary. However, the vast open plains in the peace garden state may have great potential for medical marijuana cultivation.

Is CBD legal in North Dakota?

CBD, otherwise known as cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis and hemp. Research has indicated that CBD is beneficial for several health ailments. The list includes inflammation, chronic pain, and anxiety. Due to its magnificent health properties, CBD is slowly starting to gain recognition across the globe.

In 2018 the US enacted the Farm Bill which rendered industrialized hemp and hemp-derived CBD legal on a federal level. To align with the Farm Bill, North Dakota voters passed HB 1349 in March 2019. Subsequent to the bill, hemp-derived CBD is legal within the Peace Garden State.

In order for CBD to be legal in North Dakota, it must derive from the hemp plant and contain no more than 0.3% THC. Cannabis-derived CBD is only permitted for those with a medical marijuana license.

In accordance with HB 1349, those who wish to produce hemp in North Dakota must apply for a license through the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture. Unfortunately, those with prior criminal convictions relating to controlled substances are not permitted to apply.

CBD comes in a wide array of products ranging from drinks to topicals. In North Dakota, you can find these CBD filled products in vape shops, head shops, and some specialty retail locations. As hemp production increases CBD is bound to become more prominent in North Dakota.

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Casey Peternell
Casey Peternell

Casey is a media and content creator with a keen eye for creativity. Casey is currently in the process of obtaining a double bachelors degree in Media & Communications and Business from Swinburne University in Melbourne.

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