Increasing medical marijuana patients may mean more jobs

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Since March of 2019, state leaders say not only has the new industry provided much needed help to patients, but that increase in card holders could also mean more jobs for the state.

From the start of the program in March 2019 through June, only about 500 patients got medical marijuana cards. That number grew to 2,045 by the end of the year.

With more consumers, producers have to hire enough agents to keep up with demand. Dispensaries and manufacturing facilities on average will employ 10 to 20 employees each. If the number of patients continues to rise, state health leaders say compassion centers will be forced to hire even more workers.

"The program also established a new industry within the state. That industry created jobs at manufacturing facilities as well as dispensaries. So we are happy to see the program not only benefiting patients, but also benefiting the state as a whole," said Jason Wahl, Division of Medical Marijuana.

With 10 compassion centers active, Wahl says this new industry employs about 100 people in the state. For more information on the medical marijuana program, and how to apply for a card, go to: https://www.health.nd.gov/mm