Whatever sorts of things pop into your mind when you think of North Dakota (ice, snow, prairie dogs, the movie Fargo), cannabis probably isn’t one of them. However, for the thousands of statewide residents that are interested in how to get a medical marijuana card in North Dakota, it’s a topic certainly worth discussing.
Truth be told, few folks realize that Governor Doug Burgum signed a medical cannabis bill into law way back in 2016. Since then however, little progress has been made in terms of Roughrider State residents being able to obtain legal pot-based medication.
In this continuously-updated article, we discuss all of the relevant weed-related events you need to be aware of, in addition of course to outlining the basic steps for how to apply for a medical marijuana card in North Dakota. Enjoy!
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A Brief History of Marijuana Laws in North Dakota
Back in 2016, residents of the Roughrider State voted to pass Measure 5 – a bill that (after Governor Doug Burgum signed it into law) established a legal medical cannabis program in the state.
However, residents will likely not have been too pleased with the “progress” (or lack thereof) of the measure in subsequent years, as medical marijuana products still are not available anywhere in North Dakota.
Lawmakers were apparently not too happy with the “language” that was included in the original 2016 version of the bill, which prompted several changes and adaptations to be made during the 2017 legislative session.
After finally agreeing on a “variation” of Measure 5 that was acceptable to lawmakers and state authorities, ND residents finally were able to apply for medical marijuana in North Dakota starting back in October 2018.
[Continue reading if you’re wondering how to get a North Dakota medical marijuana I.D. card…]
Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card in North Dakota
Compared to other states, applying for a medical marijuana card in North Dakota is actually pretty simple. Basically, all you need is access to a computer (with the internet), as well as a few routine identification documents. Here is the easy step-by-step process for getting a medical cannabis identification in ND:
Step 1 | Speak with a doctor
Unfortunately, before you even go online to create an account with the North Dakota Medical Marijuana program, you’ll need to find a doctor that will be willing to speak with you about potentially writing a recommendation to use cannabis as a medicinal treatment.
Also, be advised that there is a list of specific qualifying conditions that you must suffer from in order to be considered for medical marijuana in North Dakota (see below for the full list). Unless you have been diagnosed with one of these ailments, your doctor will likely not agree to speak with you about the legal use of cannabis.
Also, be advised that your North Dakota doctor is NOT required to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program; if he or she refuses to issue you a written recommendation, they are entirely within their rights to do so.
Furthermore, the state of North Dakota does not provide a list of doctors who write medical cannabis recommendations, so if your provider does not agree to one, you may have to get on the phone and call around to other offices.
Step 2 | Go online and create an account
If you are able to find a doctor that agrees to speak with you about your condition and/or write you a recommendation to use medical cannabis in North Dakota, the next step will be to go online and create an account with the ND BioTrackTHC system. This is the online program that you will use to complete and submit your North Dakota medical marijuana card application. (Click here to create your account).
Be advised that you will need to provide certain documents in order to complete your application, such as a legal form of identification, North Dakota residency verification, and up-to-date photographs. (A complete list of all required documents can be found here).
Furthermore, you will need to provide the name and email address of the doctor/healthcare provider that will be issuing you your recommendation to use medical cannabis (this is why we suggest finding a doctor before starting the online application process).
The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDOH) will contact the healthcare provider on your behalf – you may NOT submit your own medical recommendation. All recommendations must be written and submitted directly from the office of the healthcare provider.
Step 3 | Pay the fee and submit your application
Once you have found a doctor and completed/submitted all relevant parts of the application through the BioTrackTHC system, you must then pay the $50 fee and submit your application.
If everything is in order and you are approved for a medical marijuana card in North Dakota, you will be contacted through email. (Check here for a video tutorial offering complete instructions on the application process and all required documents).
Cannabis in North Dakota: Fast Facts + General FAQ
Even though it is not yet possible to buy medical marijuana in North Dakota, it appears that state authorities are taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the MMJ program is responsible, effective, and efficient. Here is a brief list of frequently asked questions regarding applying for a medical marijuana card in North Dakota:
Can I apply for medical cannabis? How much does it cost?
Yes. As of October 2018, the application process is now open (see above steps for how to apply), and will cost $50 (not including doctor consultation fees).
What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in North Dakota?
- HIV / AIDS
- Decompensated cirrhosis (caused by hepatitis C)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder)
- Alzheimer’s disease (or related dementia)
- Crohn’s disease
- Spinal stenosis / chronic back pain (including neuropathy or damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord)
- Intractable spasticity
- Terminal illness
- Muscle spasms (including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis)
- A chronic or debilitating disease (or its treatment) that produces one of the following: Cachexia (wasting syndrome); Severe debilitating pain; Intractable nausea
When will marijuana be available?
Medical marijuana identification cards have begun being issued as of February 2019. The first medical dispensaries are set to opening beginning February 2019, with all ten licensed dispensaries set to be up and running by July 2019 (barring any further setbacks).
How much marijuana can I buy?
It appears that you will be allowed a “30-day maximum purchase limit” for medical cannabis products (this will be determined by your recommending doctor).
Do I have to go to a dispensary to buy my medicine?
Yes – anyone who is approved for medical marijuana in North Dakota must purchase their medication from one of eight legal, licensed dispensary operations in the state. Holding a valid medical cannabis identification card DOES NOT allow you to possess marijuana in North Dakota.
How much will marijuana medication cost in North Dakota?
Prices have yet to be determined.
Will my insurance cover the costs?
No, your health insurance will not cover the cost of marijuana medication (or doctor visit/application fees).
Can I use a cannabis I.D. card from another state to buy medical marijuana in North Dakota?
No. Be advised that all North Dakota medical marijuana patients (and their caregivers) will be required to carry their MMJ I.D. cards while “purchasing, transporting or consuming medical marijuana products.”
Final Thoughts on How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in North Dakota
All in all, the process of applying for a medical marijuana card in North Dakota is not an overly complicated one. It basically involves going online, creating an account, and submitting an application packet (as well as a $50 application fee).
Realistically, the hard part will probably be trying to find a doctor that is willing to issue you the recommendation required for your application to be approved. If your current healthcare provider does not agree to speak to you about medical cannabis, you may have to go online and do a search for ‘medical marijuana doctors in North Dakota.’ Or of course, you can always get in touch with us if you feel that we can be of any help, or you may contact the North Dakota Division of Medical Marijuana at email@example.com or by phone at 701-328-1311.
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