BISMARCK, N.D. --- The chairman of a group gathering petition signatures to put a medical marijuana initiative before North Dakota voters says it has successfully reached the signature count needed for November ballot access. Apparently supporters of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act, the North Dakota medical marijuana initiative, will hold a press conference Monday at the state Capitol prior to taking their signatures to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office.
"We're at about 15,500," committee chairman Rilie Ray Morgan said of the signature total. "We should be in pretty good shape."
A total of 13,452 signatures are needed for the statutory measure to be included on the November 8, 2016 ballot. The group will be filing its signatures just hours before the midnight deadline to make the ballot. If passed the measure would allow adults to posses up to 3 ounces of medical marijuana for treatment of about nearly a dozen medical conditions. Facilities for medical marijuana distribution would be licensed by the state Health Department. They'll be operated by nonprofit organizations. Those more than 40 miles from a licensed facility would be able to grow as many as eight marijuana plants after providing notification to law enforcement as long as they're grown in an enclosed facility.
A separate marijuana measure that would legalize weed is also finalizing its signature collection. That group's chairman recently said he expects to file prior to the Monday deadline as well.