A tentative timeline has been set in North Dakota for establishing a medical cannabis program. According to the U.S. News, the state health department is currently requesting that anyone interested in being a manufacturer or distributor in the state let them know via a letter of intent by July 28.
This will show how many individuals and organizations would be interested in contributing to medical cannabis in North Dakota. Currently, the state will allow up to one manufacturing facility and eight dispensaries, or “compassion centers,” as they will be called, but more could be added if demand is high enough. Once the letters of intent are received, there will be a call for official applications. A review committee will score the applications based on their business plan, adherence to current law and other relevant factors. A $5,000 fee will be required for processing along with the application, but for now, nothing is required but a simple letter.
“All we want to know with this letter of intent is to see how many applications we’re going to get for both growers and dispensaries,” Kenan Bullinger, director of the health department’s medical cannabis division, told the Bismark Tribune. “That’ll help us kind of set timelines.”
As long as interest is proven, the department then plans to move forward and accept applications starting in August or September. Accepted applicants would be notified by October or November, and then it would take about six months to produce the first accepted crop of medical cannabis. This means that medical cannabis could be available as early as spring of next year.
North Dakota voted yes on medical cannabis last November, and regulations for the program were approved in April. While it is taking them a little time to get the program off the ground, this is proof that the state still plans to move forward and implement medical cannabis.