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North Dakota Marijuana Laws

North Dakota only permits marijuana for medical use, although the law signed in 2016 is not yet operational. There are no decriminalization measures in place; possession of any amount for recreation can result in jail time and a fine.

North Dakota Marijuana Attorneys

The following North Dakota lawyers are actively involved in the practice of cannabis law:


Cannabis is illegal in North Dakota, unless used specifically for medical purposes. Despite the medical marijuana law being signed in 2016, state-licensed dispensaries are not yet operational.


Simple possession of less than one ounce of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor in North Dakota, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and $1,500 in fines.

Possession of more than one ounce but less than 500 grams is a felony with a top penalty of five years in prison and $10,000. And possession of more than 500 grams comes with a maximum of 10 years in prison and $20,000.

Possessing any amount of cannabis within 1000 feet of a school is also a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines of $20,000


Any sale or other distribution of marijuana is a felony in North Dakota; there is a mandatory minimum of three years’ imprisonment, a maximum or ten years’, and a possible $20,000 in fines. Penalties also max out at ten years and $20,000 when a minor is used in the distributing process.

Sale within 1,000 feet of a school carries increased incarceration; a maximum of 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.


Growing marijuana is treated the same as possessing it. The same weight limits and penalties apply.

Hash and Concentrates

Special rules apply to hashish and other marijuana concentrates. Using any amount of concentrate is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $3,000 in fines, making North Dakota one of the few states to criminalize actual cannabis use.

Possession of any amount of concentrate is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and $10,000. Manufacture and delivery is also a felony and carries a top penalty of 10 years in prison and $20,000.


Cannabis paraphernalia is outlawed in North Dakota unless intended, marketed, and designed strictly for legal use. Paraphernalia includes any items intended for use with the cultivation, harvesting, processing, manufacture, storing, testing, analysis, inhaling, ingest or otherwise introducing of marijuana to the body.

Possession, manufacture and distribution. Possession, manufacture, or delivery of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and comes with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and $3,000 in fines.

Sale to a minor. Sale or delivery of paraphernalia to a minor is a felony with a maximum term of five years in prison and a top fine of $10,000. Additional incarceration and increased fines apply to sale or delivery within 1,000 feet of a school.


A mandatory drug addiction evaluation is imposed following any marijuana-related conviction in North Dakota.


North Dakota signed a medical marijuana bill into law in 2016, although the program is not yet operational.

Qualifying conditions

  • Agitation from Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cachexia or Wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic or debilitating disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Intractable nausea
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Seizures
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Severe debilitating pain
  • Spinal stenosis

Patient possession limits – Qualifying patients can legally possess three ounces of herbal cannabis.

Home cultivation – No

State-licensed dispensaries – Yes. No more than two cultivators and eight dispensaries (not yet operational).


Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine


1 oz or less Misdemeanor 30 days $ 1,500
More than 1 oz – 500 g Felony 5 years $ 10,000
More than 500 g Felony 10 years $ 20,000
Any amount within 1000 feet of a school Felony 10 years $ 20,000


Any amount Felony 3* – 10 years $ 20,000
Using a minor Felony 10 years $ 20,000
Any amount within 1000 feet of a school Felony 20 years $ 20,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence for second offense


See Possession section for penalty details.

Hash & Concentrates

Ingesting Misdemeanor 1 year $ 3,000
Possession Felony 5 years $ 10,000
Manufacture or delivery Felony 10 years $ 20,000


Possession, manufacture, delivery or advertisement of paraphernalia Misdemeanor 1 year $ 3,000
To a minor Felony 5 years $ 10,000


Any conviction requires the offender to undergo a drug addiction evaluation.
Juveniles may have their driver’s license suspended for up to 6 months.