North Dakota

(Last update: December 10, 2019)

Medical Marijuana: Yes

Recreational Marijuana: No

Decriminalized: Yes

In-Home Cultivation: -

Activists submit petition language to put 2020 adult-use legalization initiative on the ballot

Legalize ND recently submitted petition language to put an initiative to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana before the voters next November. Once the measure is approved for circulation by the secretary of state, activists must gather 13,452 voter signatures before July 6, 2020 to qualify for the ballot.

In 2018, North Dakotans rejected a proposal to legalize marijuana for adults 59% to 41%. This time around, however, Legalize ND worked closely with the North Dakota Legislative Council and argues the proposal is better written and addresses previous concerns. The 2020 measure would create a system to license marijuana businesses, establish a 10% tax on marijuana sales, and prohibit home cultivation. The initiative would also allow individuals to remove low-level marijuana convictions from their criminal records.

North Dakota becomes 25th state to eliminate jail time for low-level marijuana possession!

With Gov. Doug Burgum’s signature on House Bill 1050, North Dakota removed jail time penalties for adults 21 and older who possess up to half an ounce of marijuana in May 2019. The final legislation was the product of a conference committee made up of members from the House and Senate of North Dakota’s Republican-controlled state legislature.

North Dakota’s new law went into effect on August 1. It reclassifies possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana as an infraction punishable by no jail time and a maximum fine of $1,000. Previously, it was a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail in addition to a fine. The bill also reclassifies penalties for possession offenses involving amounts greater than a half ounce, and it calls on the Legislative Assembly to study adult-use legalization. A detailed summary of HB 1050 is available here.

All eight medical marijuana dispensaries open

Earlier in 2019, the first state-licensed dispensary opened in North Dakota, and since, seven additional businesses have begun selling medical marijuana to patients across the state. You can find a list of their locations here. Despite progress, there are still fewer than 2,000 patients registered with the program as of November 2019.