Becoming a Patient in North Dakota

Last updated on December 24, 2019.

What’s Allowed

Registered patients and caregivers may purchase up to 2.5 oz (70.87 g) of dried cannabis in a combustable delivery form during a thirty-day period and may possess up to 3 oz (85.05 g) of dried cannabis in combustable delivery form at any time. If a patient has a registry identification card authorizing an enhanced allowable amount, the purchase limit is raised to 6 oz (170.01 g) of dried cannabis in combustable delivery form in a thirty-day period and the possession limit is raised to 7.5 oz (212.62 g) of dried cannabis in combustible delivery form at any time. Per North Dakota law, there are no possession limits for all other products that are not dried leaves and flowers. However, a registered qualifying patient may not purchase or have purchased by a registered designated caregiver more than the maximum concentration or amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) permitted in a thirty-day period. The maximum concentration or amount of THC permitted in a thirty-day period for a cannabinoid concentrate or medical cannabinoid product, or the cumulative total of both, is 4,000 mg.

Patients must be in possession of their registration card in order to purchase, use, or possess usable cannabis under the medical marijuana program.

Eligible Conditions

Debilitating medical conditions include: cancer; positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); decompensated cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; post-traumatic stress disorder; agitation of Alzheimer's disease or related dementia; Crohn's disease; fibromyalgia; spinal stenosis or chronic back pain, including neuropathy or damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity; glaucoma; epilepsy; anorexia nervosa; bulimia nervosa; anxiety disorder; Tourette syndrome; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; endometriosis; interstitial cystitis; neuropathy; migraine; rheumatoid arthritis; autism spectrum disorder; a brain injury; a terminal illness; or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or treatment for such disease or medical condition that produces one or more of the following: (1) cachexia or wasting syndrome; (2) severe debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than three months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects; (3) intractable nausea; (4) seizures; or (5) severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

Access

The North Dakota Department of Health website contains a list of dispensary locations.

Consumption

The law does not authorize a person to engage in, and does not prevent the imposition of any civil liability or criminal liability or other penalties for engaging in the following conduct:

  1. Undertaking an activity under the influence of marijuana if doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice.
  2. Possessing or consuming usable marijuana:
    1. On a school bus or school van that is used for school purposes;
    2. On the grounds of any public or private school;
    3. At any location while a public or private school sanctioned event is occurring at that location;
    4. On the grounds of a correctional facility; or
    5. On the grounds of a child care facility or licensed home day care, unless authorized under rules adopted by the department of human services.
  3. Undertaking any activity prohibited by section 23-12-09, 23-12-10, 23-12-10.2, 23-12-10.4, 23-12-10.5, or 23-12-11.
  4. Using a combustible delivery form of usable marijuana or vaporizing usable marijuana under this chapter if the smoke or vapor would be inhaled by a minor who is not the registered qualifying patient for whom the usable marijuana is intended.
  5. Operating, navigating, or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or motorboat, while under the influence of marijuana. However, a registered qualifying patient may not be considered to be under the influence of marijuana solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment.

Paraphernalia

The sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia by a dispensary is lawful if in accordance with the rules governing the medical cannabis program.

A cardholder or registered compassion center is not subject to arrest or prosecution for use of drug paraphernalia or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia in a manner consistent with the rules governing the medical cannabis program.

Caregiver

Designated caregivers must have a valid registry identification card in order to purchase, assist in the use of, or possess usable cannabis. The annual application fee is $50. 

A criminal history record check must be performed upon initial application and biennially thereafter and at any other time upon the request of the department. All fees associated with the criminal history record check must be paid by the applicant.

An individual convicted of a drug-related misdemeanor offense within the five years preceding the date of application or of a felony offense is prohibited from serving as a designated caregiver.

A registered designated caregiver may assist no more than five registered qualifying patients. A registered designated caregiver who is a registered qualifying patient may assist no more than four additional registered qualifying patients.

Application Process

Comprehensive application instructions for patients 19 years of age or older can be accessed at https://www.health.nd.gov/sites/www/files/documents/Files/MM/Instructions_Patients.pdf

Comprehensive application instructions for patients under 19 years of age can be accessed at https://www.health.nd.gov/sites/www/files/documents/Files/MM/Instructions%20Minor%20Patients.pdf.

Comprehensive application instructions for caregivers can be accessed at https://mmregistration.health.nd.gov/static/web/InstructionsDesignatedCaregivers.pdf.

The Medical Marijuana Registration Portal and pertinent information can be found at https://www.health.nd.gov/mm.

Health Care Provider

Physicians, advance practice registered nurses, and physician assistants may complete written certifications for qualifying patients and may authorize an enhanced amount of dried cannabis in combustible delivery form to treat or alleviate patients' debilitating medical condition of cancer. Health care providers are not required to complete written certifications or otherwise recommend cannabis to patients.

Confidentiality

Except as provided below, information kept or maintained by the department is confidential, including information in a registration application or renewal and supporting information submitted by a qualifying patient, designated caregiver, compassion center, proposed compassion center, or compassion center agent, including information on designated caregivers and health care providers.

Information kept or maintained by the department may be disclosed as necessary for: (1) the verification of registration certificates and registry identification cards; (2) submission of the annual report required by the law governing the medical cannabis program; (3) submission to the North Dakota prescription drug monitoring program; (4) Notification of state or local law enforcement of apparent criminal violation of the medical cannabis law; (5) Notification of state and local law enforcement about falsified or fraudulent information submitted for purposes of obtaining or renewing a registry identification card; or (6) Notification of the North Dakota board of medicine or North Dakota board of nursing if there is a reason to believe a health care provider provided a written certification and the department has reason to believe the health care provider otherwise violated this chapter.

Upon a cardholder's written request, the department may confirm the cardholder's status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver to a third party, such as a landlord, school, medical professional, or court.

Information submitted to a local government to demonstrate compliance with any security requirements required by local zoning ordinances or regulations is confidential.

Housing

A person in lawful possession of property is not required to allow a guest, client, customer, or other visitor to possess or consume usable marijuana on or in that property. A landlord is not required to allow production or processing on rental property.

Employment

Employers are not prohibited from disciplining an employee for possessing or consuming usable marijuana in the workplace or for working while under the influence of marijuana.

Insurance

It is not required that a government medical assistance program or private insurer reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana.

Reciprocity

North Dakota does not offer reciprocity to registered medical cannabis patients from other jurisdictions. For information on reciprocity, please refer to The Medical Cannabis Patient's Guide for U.S. Travel.