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Legalization Status

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Not Decriminalized

Medical Marijuana (1)

Medical since 2016

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Not Recreational

North Dakota Governing Body Information

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2019 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

Labeling Requirements for manufacturers

Manufacturers must adhere to the following labeling requirements (these requirements apply to dry marijuana leaves and marijuana plants/flowers):

  • The manufacturer’s business or trade name
  • The manufacturer’s registry certification number (RCN)
  • The unique identification number (UIN) of the container
  • The harvest lot number
  • The date of harvest
  • The name of the marijuana strain
  • The net weight of the package or container in metric measure
  • The potency and concentration of Δ9 – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), THC acid, and cannabidiol (CBD)
  • The time it requires for the medicinal marijuana to take effect (either in words or a pictogram)
  • The expiration date of the marijuana
  • North Dakota’s Universal Symbol
  • The following statements must also be included:
    • “This product is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat, cure or prevent any disease”
    • “For use by North Dakota registered qualifying patients only”
    • “Keep out of reach of children”
    • “It is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana”

Container Labeling Requirements for marijuana manufacturers

A container that contains cannabinoid concentrate must be labeled according to these requirements:

  • The manufacturing facility’s business or trade name
  • The manufacturing facility’s registry certification number
  • The unique identification number (UIN) of the container
  • The process lot number
  • The identity of the project
  • The date that cannabinoid concentrate was made
  • The net weight or volume of the container (including the concentrate) in metric measure
  • The serving size and number of servings per container. Alternatively, the manufacturer can use the suggested quantity to be used by the patient at any one time of administering the marijuana
  • The potency and concentration of Δ9 – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), THC acid, and cannabidiol (CBD), by weight or volume of each suggested or administered amount
  • The amount of time it takes to activate the marijuana (through words or a pictogram)
  • The expiration date of the marijuana
  • The Universal Symbol as approved by the state of North Dakota
  • A Pediatric symbol (if applicable)
  • The following statements must also be included:
    • “This product is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat, cure or prevent any disease”
    • “For use by North Dakota registered qualifying patients only”
    • “Keep out of reach of children”
    • “It is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana”

Fonts and Sizing for Manufacturing Facility Marijuana Labels

  • Text on marijuana labels must be no smaller than size 8 font
  • Font must be Arial or Calibri

If the required information does not fit on the label, a manufacturing facility can use a “peel-back” or accordion label to easily identify the information- as long as the peel-back is easy to use, and it is prominent.

In some cases, the manufacturer may be able to reduce the font size to size 6 font if all the information cannot fit on the label.

Advertising and Marketing Regulations for Manufacturing Facilities

Manufacturing facilities providing medical marijuana should NOT include the following in their logos or labels:

  • Images of marijuana
  • Any kind of marijuana paraphernalia
  • Everyday usage or terms of marijuana
  • Names of marijuana plant strains
  • Medical symbols that closely resemble medical associations (including the American Medical Association or the American Academy of Pediatrics)

Labeling Requirements for Dispensaries

Dispensaries must include the following information on their labels:

  • The qualifying patient’s name
  • The department-issued registry identification card number of the patient
  • The registered designated caregiver’s name and the department-issued registry identification card number (if applicable)
  • The trade and legal name of the dispensary
  • The date the marijuana was dispensed

Advertising and Marketing Regulations for Dispensaries

Dispensaries providing medical marijuana should not include the following in their logos or labels:

  • Images of marijuana
  • Any kind of marijuana paraphernalia
  • Everyday usage or terms of marijuana
  • Names of marijuana plant strains
  • Medical symbols that closely resemble medical associations (including the American Medical Association or the American Academy of Pediatrics)

Fonts and Sizing for Dispensary Marijuana Labels

  • Text on marijuana labels must be no smaller than size 8 font
  • Font must be Arial or Calibri

If the required information does not fit on the label, a dispensary can use a “peel-back” or accordion label to easily identify the information- as long as the peel-back is easy to use, and it is prominent.

In some cases, the manufacturer may be able to reduce the font size to size 6 font if all the information cannot fit on the label.

Generally speaking, manufacturing facilities and dispensaries must ensure that their packages are:

  • Plain
  • Tamper-proof
  • Child resistant
  • Packaging must not appeal to minors/children

While the labeling and packaging requirements for manufacturing facilities and dispensaries might appear similar, there are slight changes that you should be aware of- depending on whether you are manufacturing or dispensing marijuana. It is important to read the labeling and packaging requirements that apply to your business.

Although North Dakota’s recreational marijuana laws are some of the strictest in the country, it made progress when it attempted to decriminalize marijuana in February 2019. Although the decriminalization bill was ultimately defeated, it was a close defeat with 47 house representatives voting against decriminalization and 43 house representatives voting for decriminalization. Even more recently, North Dakota senators approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana. If the bill receives final approval, North Dakota will join the long list of states that have decriminalized marijuana.

For medical marijuana users, getting certification for medical marijuana may become easier in the near future. In March 2019, North Dakota’s state Senate approved a medical marijuana bill that would afford North Dakota residents the ability to purchase medical marijuana in a more streamlined way. Medical marijuana purchasers are currently able to buy marijuana in dried leaf and flower format, marijuana concentrates, tinctures, capsules, transdermal patches and topicals.

If you are a cultivator, producer, or dispensary waiting for North Dakota to legalize medical marijuana, it could be a matter of months before you are able to open your doors to medical marijuana patients. For more information on North Dakota’s marijuana labeling and packaging laws, keep checking this page for updates.

2018 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update

The first attempts to legalize marijuana in the Peace Garden State started in 2015, but the initiative was voted down because the committee felt that the concerns and risks outweighed the potential benefits. The next year, voters approved Measure 5 which established a medicinal cannabis program. In 2017, this measure was changed, allowing users to smoke the drug for treatment and disallowing home cultivation.

 In the Peace Garden State, cannabis is not decriminalized. One ounce or less is classified as a misdemeanor, but possession of any amount within 1000 feet of a school is classified as a felony and carries high fines and jail time. Selling any amount of marijuana in the state of North Dakota is also felony. North Dakota classifies the possession, manufacture, delivery, or advertisement of cannabis paraphernalia as a misdemeanor for an adult and a felony to a minor.

Medical Cannabis Laws in North Dakota

The North Dakota Medical Marijuana Program controls the regulations on usage and distribution of medical marijuana. To use medicinal cannabis, you must have a qualifying condition. The list of qualifying conditions is rather extensive, including spinal stenosis, cachexia (wasting syndrome), Crohn’s disease, and intractable nausea. Patients with a recommendation can obtain up to three ounces of cannabis provided by a state licensed dispensary. Patients also must have permission from their doctors to smoke cannabis. Otherwise, they are limited to tinctures, capsules, topicals, or patches. In North Dakota, edible cannabis products don’t qualify for medical use.

Cannabis Business Rules in North Dakota

The Peace Garden State also has a relatively liberal outlook on the types of conditions that can qualify a patient for medical cannabis. These disorders include chronic pain, any chronic disease, autoimmune diseases, as well as fibromyalgia. Their wording is slightly different, but otherwise they have a standard program where medical marijuana dispensaries must apply with the North Dakota Department of Health, and it would be helpful to provide a plan for safely packaging medical marijuana products. Laws are constantly evolving, but you can opt for child proof, secure packaging anyway.

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