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Applications for last medical marijuana dispensaries in North Dakota to open this month


Potential medical marijuana dispensaries soon can apply for applications to open in the Devils Lake, Jamestown, Dickinson and Minot regions.

The North Dakota Department of Health announced Tuesday it could open the application period for those areas by the end of the month. The regions are the last of eight areas in North Dakota to accept applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.

"Once they have been selected, all eight of the dispensaries authorized by state law will be chosen, completing an important step in implementing the medical marijuana program," Jason Wahl, director of the medical marijuana division for the Health Department, said in a statement.

The timeline for choosing the successful applicants for those regions is dependent on the number of applications the Health Department receives, Wahl told the Herald on Wednesday, adding the agency wants to give the panel that will review the applicants enough time to do so.

It's possible the state could make its final decision on the applicants in late March or early April, Wahl said.

North Dakota voters passed a measure in 2016 that would permit the state to have a medical marijuana industry. Applicants for Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Williston already have been approved.

Those dispensaries could open next month, Wahl told the Herald on Wednesday.

The state has allowed itself to open one dispensary in each of the eight regions, but the businesses must be located within 50 miles of the chosen cities.

East Grand Forks resident Aaron Hall previously submitted an application to the city of Devils Lake to open a dispensary 810 10th St. S.E., but city leaders held off on approving a conditional use permit so it could seek more information from the Health Department.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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