Pat Beggan

North Dakota Legalization Initiative Approved for Nov. Ballot; MMJ Launch Likely Delayed Until 2019

North Dakota voters will get their chance to vote on adult-use cannabis legalization this November, according to the Associated Press.

Cannabis advocates collected and submitted more than 14,600 valid voter signatures in favor of the ballot initiative, said North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger. They only needed 13,500. The proposal seeks to legalize cannabis for adults who are 21 and older and would also seal the records of anyone who had been convicted of a cannabis-related crime that would be legal under the new regulations.

Meanwhile, North Dakota’s medical cannabis law took effect in 2017 but patients have yet to get access — they haven’t even been able to apply for the program, yet — and medical cannabis products likely won’t be available until early 2019KFYR-TV reports.

The program was expected to launch this year but now that timeline has been compromised due to holdups in building approvals for cannabis product manufacturers, said Jason Wahl, director for the Division of Medical Marijuana.

State senator John Grabinger (D, District 12) said that issues with the medical program’s implementation may actually be driving momentum for the adult-use petition.

“We could have done this much quicker and taken a cue from many other states that have already implemented it and have got the medical marijuana out there to the public that is asking for it and needs it.” — State senator John Grabinger, via KFYR-TV

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