Medical marijuana not precluded by North Dakota farm law

Wednesday, April 04, 2018 7:21 a.m. CDT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says North Dakota’s law banning corporate farming won’t preclude horticulture operations that grow medical marijuana.

North Dakota bars corporations from owning and operating farms, to protect the state’s family farming heritage. There are exceptions, and the Health Department recently asked Stenehjem if medical marijuana growers will be exempt.

Stenehjem says the Legislature didn’t specifically exempt medical marijuana production from the legal definition of “farming or ranching.” But he says there’s nothing in law requiring a medical marijuana operation to be on agricultural land. The law requires medical marijuana to be produced in a closed, locked facility.

The Health Department is developing a program for the drug approved by voters in 2016. Two manufacturers will be registered. Potential growers have until April 19 to apply.

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