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North Dakota Health Officials Accepting Applications for MMJ Testing Labs

The North Dakota Health Department is seeking non-binding letters of intent from laboratories interested in testing medical cannabis products once the voter-approved system comes online, the Associated Press reports. Health officials anticipate qualified patients will have access to medical cannabis products by late spring or early summer 2018.

The state’s law allows two “compassion centers” to grow and produce medical cannabis products and eight others to dispense it. Earlier this year nearly 100 companies applied to the Health Department to produce or dispense medical cannabis products. The law requires that all products be tested for molds, pesticides, and THC levels before being sold to patients.

“We issued the letter of intent (requests) to spur some interest and meet a critical need to keep the medical marijuana program in North Dakota heading in the right direction,” said Kenan Bullinger, director of the Health Department’s medical marijuana division, in the report.

The Department has estimated that they will need at least $2.7 million over the next two years to implement the program. The laboratory application period closes on Aug. 25.

Advocates in North Dakota are also circulating petitions to legalize adult-use cannabis use in the state. If approved, the measure would expunge the criminal records of low-level, non-violent cannabis offenders in addition to creating a taxed-and-regulated adult-use market.

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