The residents of North Dakota voted to legalize medical cannabis on November 8, 2016 when Measure 5 was approved with 63.79 percent in favor. It has taken more than two years to get the program up and running, as the first dispensary has recently opened for business in Fargo.
Now that the retail medical cannabis market is launching in North Dakota, qualified patients need to know how to apply for a registration card so that they can begin making purchases from the dispensary.
Having one of the following health conditions qualifies a patient for medical cannabis in North Dakota:
- Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Decompensated cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia
- Crohn’s disease
- Spinal stenosis or chronic back pain, including neuropathy or damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- A terminal illness
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or treatment for such disease or medical condition that produces one or more of the following: Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than three months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects
- Intractable nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
If you have one of the conditions listed above, follow the steps below to apply for a North Dakota medical cannabis patient ID card.
Step 1: Schedule an appointment to see your physician
If you have one of the approved conditions, schedule an appointment to talk to your doctor about medical cannabis to determine whether or not it would be a good fit for you and your specific symptoms.
If you you’ve already been diagnosed as having one of the medical conditions which qualify for medical cannabis in North Dakota, you still have to schedule a new appointment to get an official recommendation from your doctor.
If the state-licensed physician you see provides you with a recommendation for medical cannabis, you also need to ask for his or her email before leaving. You must have the doctor’s full name and email to be able to enter it into the medical cannabis patient application. Without the email, your application will be rejected.
Using the physician’s email that you provide on the application, the physician will be contacted to add a written recommendation to your patient application. This is the most important part of the process. Be sure that the physician’s name and email are spelled correctly to avoid having your application denied.
If the physician is new to recommending medical cannabis and unwilling to provide you with an email, he or she can contact the North Dakota Department of Health for more information.
Step 2: Create an account online
This is easiest step. Go to the North Dakota Department of Health’s website to create an account. Click this link to be directed to the account creation page.
You will be required to enter your first and last name and your email address, and then create a password for the account. Once you click the submit button, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided. You will be required to click the link that is in the email to verify your account.
Once you’ve clicked the validation link, you’ll be able to login to your account to complete the application.
Step 3: Fill out and submit an application
Applications can be filled out and submitted online through the health department’s website using the BioTrackTHC system. Click here to be redirected to the sign in page.
Once you sign into your account, you will see a drop down menu at the top left of the screen. Select the ‘patient application’ option from the menu.
You will be required to upload a recent photo of yourself to apply. As required by the North Dakota Department of Health, the photo must be two inches by two inches, and a close-up view of your head and shoulders, similar to what is required for a United States passport application.
Next, you will be required to enter your personal information including:
- First and last name
- Birth date
- Social security number
- Mailing address
- Driver’s license or state identification number and expiration date
A photocopy of your state-issued driver’s license or state ID card must also be uploaded into the application.
Once the personal details portion is complete, you must add the first and last name of the physician who recommended medical cannabis to you. The physician’s email must also be submitted. The physician will then be required to complete several portions of the application. He or she will do this on their own without you present.
You will have the option to designate a personal caregiver in the application. A personal caregiver is appointed to assist a patient in making purchases from a dispensary, transporting, and administering the medical cannabis medication. If you choose to designate a personal caregiver, he or she will be required to submit a separate application.
Finally, you will be required to check several boxes to complete the patient attestation statement and then provide an electronic signature.
Knowing that many people will have questions, the North Dakota Department of Health created a 10 minute video tutorial to show potential patients how to create, fill out, and submit the patient application for the medical cannabis program. Click here to watch the video.
Step 4: Pay the $50 registration fee
Once the application has been filled out completely, you must pay the non-refundable registration fee. The only payment option currently listed on the application is sending a personal check or cashier’s check in the mail.
The $50.00 check should be made payable to the North Dakota Department of Health, and the barcode number assigned to you at the top right corner of your patient application must also be written on the check in the memo line.
The fee can be mailed to:
North Dakota State Department of Health
Medical Marijuana Program
600 East Boulevard Ave, Dept 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200.
Step 5: Receive your patient ID card in the mail and find a dispensary
Once your application has been approved, your North Dakota medical cannabis patient ID card will be mailed to the address you provided on the application within two to four weeks.
It will look something like this:
Once you have your patient ID card, you may take it to a dispensary to purchase medical cannabis.
As of March 15, 2019, there is only one medical cannabis dispensary open for business in the Roughrider State. The Botanist is located in Fargo at 4302 13th Avenue South. This location is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sunday. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
More dispensaries are expected to open throughout the state over the next year.