The Latest: State Health Council OKs medical marijuana rules

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The Latest on developments in efforts to establish a medical marijuana program in North Dakota (all times local):

3 p.m.

North Dakota’s State Health Council has approved administrative rules for medical marijuana.

They cover such things as lab testing, security requirements and transportation regulations.

The approval by the Health Department’s advisory group is another important step in the process as the department develops a medical marijuana program, which voters approved in November 2016.

The department held public meetings on the administrative rules late last year. The process resulted in some changes, such as lengthening the time that law enforcement agencies will have to report to the state any problem incidents.

The rules still need approval by the attorney general’s office and the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Committee.

State law allows medical marijuana for 17 medical conditions and terminal illnesses. The drug isn’t expected to be available to patients until late this year.

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10 a.m.

North Dakota’s Health Department has established eight regions for medical marijuana dispensaries.

The regions center around the state’s largest cities — Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, Devils Lake, Jamestown, Williston and Dickinson.

State Health Officer Mylynn Tufte says that will ensure the majority of the state’s population has access to a dispensary with minimum travel.

State voters approved medical marijuana in November 2016. The Health Department has been working to create the program since Gov. Doug Burgum last April approved regulations crafted by lawmakers.

It will be a few months before the state begins accepting applications from groups and businesses that want to set up a dispensary. Medical marijuana isn’t expected to be available to qualifying patients until late this year.

State law allows medical marijuana for 17 medical conditions and terminal illnesses.

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