North Dakota Rejects Bill To Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

Voters reject Statutory Measure 2, which would have legalized cannabis for adults in North Dakota.

Voters Tuesday rejected Statutory Measure 2, which would have created a new chapter of the North Dakota Century Code legalizing the production, processing, and sale of cannabis. It would have also legalized the possession and use of various forms of cannabis by anyone 21 years of age or older.

Statutory Measure 2 was one of only two voter initiatives on the ballot in North Dakota. The other bill, Statutory Measure 1, would have implemented term limits for the governor and legislators. 

It would have also tasked the state health department with setting up industry regulations by Oct. 1, 2023, and cap the number of cultivation facilities at seven and the number of retail dispensaries at no more than 18. Other details like taxation would be left to the state’s Legislature.

Under the bill, adults 21 and older would have been able to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis, four grams of concentrate and flower produced from up to three plants grown at home for personal use.

The bill would have allowed for only a maximum of seven cultivation facilities and 18 cannabis retailers. 

North Dakotans rejected an adult-use cannabis legalization measure also in 2018 by a vote of nearly 60%.

The measure was heavily based on language from a legislative cannabis proposal, House Bill 1420, which was approved by the North Dakota House of Representatives in 2021.

Last July, New Approach ND turned in enough signatures for the legalization measure to qualify, and Secretary of State Al Jaeger certified the initiative the next month.

North Dakota voted against legalization in the 2018 midterm elections, and the legislation ended up with the same fate this year. 

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