North Dakota House Approves Adult-Use Cannabis Bill

North Dakota House Approves Adult-Use Cannabis Bill

State representatives pass three joint bills to tax, legalize and decriminalize adult-use cannabis.

March 1, 2021

On Feb. 23 the North Dakota House of Representatives approved three bills that revise its cannabis laws and introduce adult-use legalization: House Bill 1420, House Bill 1501 and House Bill 1201. 

House Bill 1420, which passed 56 to 38, would allow adults aged 21 and older to purchase or possess up to one ounce of cannabis every 14 days; however, cultivating cannabis for personal use would remain illegal.

The bill’s proposal also limits the allotted number of registered dispensaries to 18 and caps growers to seven, and calls for adult-use cannabis sales to begin on July 1, 2022.

The bill now heads to the Senate for the second round of votes. If approved, it will be sent to Gov. Doug Burgum for his final signature.

Lawmakers also approved House Bill 1501, which passed 73 to 21 and lays the foundation for a  tax structure for the adult-use cannabis market. 

As stated in the House Bill 1501’s proposal, the bill would impose a “tax of 15% upon the gross receipts of adult-use cannabis products,” and “an excise tax of 10% on the sale of usable marijuana and adult-use cannabis products by a manufacturing facility to a dispensary.”

Additionally, the House passed by a 58 to 36 vote House Bill 1201, which decriminalizes the possession of less than one ounce of cannabis and also reduces the penalties for possession of larger quantities of cannabis, building on the original decriminalization law introduced in 2019.

A person carrying less than one ounce of cannabis will be guilty of a noncriminal offense punishable with a fee of up to $50. A person who has one ounce but not more than 250 grams is guilty of an infraction, the proposal states.

It also specifies that a person who has 250 grams but less than 500 grams is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, and a person having 500 grams or more is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

The bill is now headed to the Senate for consideration.