Medical marijuana bill more closely aligned to voter-passed measure OK'd in ND House
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota House passed a rewrite of the state’s medical marijuana law Tuesday, April 4, that one supporter said is “light years” ahead of lawmakers’ original proposal but still has flaws.
Senate Bill 2344 passed in a 79-13 vote a day after the House Human Services Committee approved it. The bill is expected to head to a conference committee, where lawmakers will discuss differences between the House and Senate versions before it goes to the governor.
The bill was introduced by legislative leadership after the passage of the initiated measure known as the Compassionate Care Act in November. Lawmakers have said better regulations were needed over a product that remains illegal under federal law, but medical marijuana supporters have criticized legislators for proposing changes to the measure they passed.
Rilie Ray Morgan, a Fargo man who chaired the committee that pushed Measure 5, said while the bill is “light years” ahead of lawmakers’ initial proposal, he worries the fees charged to manufacturing facilities and dispensaries could make the product less affordable for patients. The bill sets the biennial fee for dispensaries at $90,000 and $110,000 for manufacturing facilities.