North Dakota seeks medical marijuana growers despite potential hurdle

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North Dakota has begun accepting applications from potential medical cannabis cultivators, though it’s still unclear whether growers will need to comply with the state’s anti-corporate farming law.

The application period, which runs through April 19, is the latest step by state officials who have been developing the medical marijuana system since legislators crafted a law a year ago.

Just last week, North Dakota legislators approved regulations that will govern the MMJ program.

The state plans to license two cultivation companies, or manufacturing facilities, as North Dakota labels them.

Potential growing operations that submit formal applications are required to pay a nonrefundable $5,000 fee.

The growers will sell MMJ products to North Dakota’s eight licensed dispensaries once those businesses are up and running.

Last summer, nearly 100 groups and businesses submitted nonbinding letters of intent showing interest in producing or dispensing medical marijuana.

However, the Legislature still must iron out a potential kink in state law.

North Dakota has barred corporations from owning or operating farms for nearly a century in an attempt to protect the state’s family farming heritage.

The law does include exceptions for small family farm corporations.

The Health Department has requested an attorney general’s opinion on whether MMJ growers will be exempt from the law, according to Jason Wahl, director of the state’s Medical Marijuana Division.

– Associated Press