This coming November, voters in North Dakota will have the chance to decide on whether to legalize cannabis at the ballot. The office of the Secretary of State, Al Jaeger, approved the initiative earlier this week, certifying that all requirements to put the proposal before voters had been met.
Activists began to collect signatures for the measure, dubbed New Approach ND, in April. In total, the group collected more than 26,000 submissions, which was more than was required. The initiative’s provisions are similar to the House-approved legalization measure that was rejected by the Senate.
This measure will allow individuals aged 21 and above in the state to buy and possess up to four grams of cannabis concentrate and an ounce of marijuana. They will also be allowed to grow no more than three cannabis plants for personal use.
Upon the measure’s approval, the Health and Human Services department or any other designated agency by the measure will be in charge of licensing for marijuana businesses and developing rules for the program. Regulators will have until October 2023 to develop rules related to labeling, packaging, testing, advertising and security standards.
The measure also stipulates that no entity or individual will be permitted to own 4 retail locations or more than a single cultivation facility. This is in an effort to reduce the risk of the market being monopolized by large firms. It also highlights that the department can only license a maximum of eighteen retailers and 7 cultivation facilities.
However, the measure does not specify any child custody protections for parents who use marijuana in compliance with state law. Employers will also not be prohibited from enforcing existing drug policies that forbid the use of cannabis.
While the state’s 5% sales tax will apply to marijuana products, no additional tax will be imposed on cannabis specifically. Additionally, local jurisdictions will still be able to prohibit cannabis businesses from operating in their area, with marijuana firms being required to follow local zoning rules.
It should be noted that the public consumption of cannabis will remain prohibited once the measure is approved. Furthermore, the measure will not provide a pathway for individuals with past criminal records to expunge any convictions related to marijuana. Activists have revealed that they plan to work with legislators to enact a separate initiative that will address the expungement issue next year.
The legalization measure will be designated on the ballot as Measure 1.
Depending on what the voters decide, yet another market could give established companies such as American Cannabis Partners an extra state in which to consider expanding into in the not so distant future.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP
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