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Recreational Adult-use Cannabis Coming Soon

North Dakota is potentially on the brink of legalizing recreational marijuana, spurred by the positive regional shift following Minnesota’s legalization last year. To get on the ballot, North Dakota residents are required to collect at least 15,582 valid signatures by July 8. Doing so would result in recreational cannabis legislation showing up on the November general election ballot. If the July date is missed, North Dakota residents have another chance before April 25, 2025, to get recreational cannabis legislation on the 2026 statewide election.

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This effort follows a failed 2022 initiative where 55% of voters opposed legalization. The proposed measure aims to enable North Dakota residents to apply for cannabis business licenses, including dispensaries and cultivation facilities, under a new state regulatory body. This body would oversee the application and licensing processes along with the regulation of the cannabis business.

North Dakota already hosts a small medical cannabis market, introduced by the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act, with eight dispensaries that generated over $21 million in 2023. Currently, the North Dakota Department of Health has capped the number of dispensaries at eight and they are not accepting new applications unless a license is revoked or there’s a significant increase in patient and caregiver registrations. 

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