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Commentary: ND medical marijuana program director says expected length of implementation is about average

Hemp growing in a greenhouse in Wray, Colo., July 31, 2014. Companies selling a number of marijuana-derived dietary supplements were warned by the Food and Drug Administration to stop pitching their products as cures for cancer, a common but unproven claim in the industry, on Oct. 31, 2017. (Matthew Staver/copyright 2017 The New York Times)

The North Dakota Department of Health is estimating that medical marijuana won’t be available in North Dakota for another 11-13 months.

Voters in the state approved medical marijuana on the ballot a year ago, though the ballot measure they cast their ballots for was so flawed it didn’t actually decriminalize medical marijuana. That forced the Legislature to step in, and their bill became active in April.

That was about seven months ago, and state officials are saying it could still be another year before medical marijuana is available. That makes some unhappy. “We’re frustrated by the process,” Riley Ray Morgan, who led the ballot measure effort, told reporter John Hageman. “It’s just more of the same delay, delay, delay, it seems like.”

One could argue that if Morgan’s group had done a better job with their ballot measure we’d be further along in this process, but that’s beside the point. Is the State of North Dakota dragging its feet in implementing this policy?