Hurry up and wait…
When I first ventured into the the North Dakota Medical Marijuana arena, things seemed pretty clear. You filed for a license, opened a non-profit, picked a property in a zoned area and then got to work. Or so I thought.
Since March, the only thing that has changed here in the Tundra is the weather. 97 people put their “cowboy hats” into the ring. The state did not specify if it was for growing or dispensing. They’ve allotted only two grows, one lab and eight dispensaries. And it appears we are not any further along than we were when we submitted a letter of intent.
I’ve called weekly, and its the same result, “the legislature has passed the Attorney General’s office has passed the final draft and now it goes to the governor for approval.” The very same governor who gave them a July 31st deadline to get the program up and running. Some people that are “in the know” think they will call for applications by November, along with a nonrefundable $5000.00 application fee.
Then one can only imagine when they will pick the applicants. The way they are establishing the system, is that they will reward the two, that’s right, two, grow facilities for the entire state. After that they will establish the laboratory for testing, and then lastly they will grant the eight dispensaries that will distribute the medicine. A process this slow could mean no medication until next year at the earliest. Possibly as late as next summer.
Being that I have been up here since the inception, I have been contacted by numerous patients, via our website, asking how to apply. I can only tell them what I know from the state, but I can tell you these people are suffering. Some have even gone as far to ask if I suggest they go to Minnesota for their medications. I won’t and can’t support trafficking, but I understand their desperation.
One of my potential patients, suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, Congestive Heart Failure, Renal Failure and is on oxygen 24 hours a day. The copious amounts of Opiates they are prescribed for pain are no longer effective. The caregiver states that she is “absolutely desperate” for something to help with the pain. It breaks my heart to hear about it and know there’s nothing I can do but offer support. I suggested she look into legal CBD and referred them to a website. That’s ALL I can do.
So while they “drag their feet” getting the program going. People are suffering. The same
people who voted for legalization. The state was in no way prepared to handle establishing a program, because truthfully, they doubted Medical Marijuana would pass.
We here at Sister Havana’s are opening a Foundation Office, to help the community in any way we can. From education, to clothing and food drives, and giving someone who has questions that could actually be answered a place to get those answers along with food, baby needs, and winter clothing.
There is an opiate epidemic in North Dakota, and they are handing out vials of Naloxone to keep people from overdosing and dying. But they seem to be at a “stalemate” as to when they will offer access to a drug, that has proven in the states that it has been legalized, to drop Opiate related deaths by up to thirty percent.
Politics are in motion people. And once these grows are approved, you have to have to pay $110,000.00 for a two year license. And the over $80,000.00 for a dispensary license. It seems that they have their “fees” in place, but are not offering any respite for those suffering.
So, I will pick up my hat, dust it off and get back to work. I am fighting for patients now. And if they don’t pick up the pace and get into action on the state level, more people will suffer, more people will die and an opiate epidemic will continue to spread.
I implore you to contact North Dakota legislature and ask them to help the state finish the job. Or they can just keep counting the overdoses. I think it’s their choice, and the ball in their court.
Hurry up and wait…