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ND receives 17 applications for medical marijuana growers

Jason Wahl, the director of the North Dakota Department of Health's medical marijuana division, gives a presentation to the Legislature's Administrative Rules Committee Monday, March 12, 2018, at the state Capitol in Bismarck. John Hageman / Forum News Service

BISMARCK—The state of North Dakota has received 17 applications from entities seeking to become registered medical marijuana manufacturers, a Department of Health official said Thursday, April 19.

The application period closed Thursday afternoon. A review panel is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon at the state Capitol to discuss applications.

Jason Wahl, director of the Health Department's medical marijuana division, didn't have a "firm timeline" for registering the manufacturing facilities.

"We would anticipate that after the Monday meeting, they'll have a period of time to get through the information and then get together again for a second meeting where we would anticipate the final scores to be determined by the review panel," he said.

Wahl previously said the application period for dispensaries will come after the growers have been selected.

State law allows for two registered manufacturing facilities and eight dispensaries, although the Health Department could register more to increase patient access to medical marijuana.

North Dakotans first voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. But legislators, citing flaws with the language voters approved, rewrote the law during last year's session.

Rules governing the state's medical marijuana program went into effect April 1, marking a major step toward its implementation. Wahl has said medical marijuana could be available to patients late this year.

Grower applicants' names are confidential under state law, Wahl said.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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