BISMARCK, N.D. - Medical marijuana dispensaries in North Dakota didn't get off to a fast start. But in just ten months, the number of registered patients has grown from fewer than 200 to more than 2,000.
Jason Wahl, the Director for the state's Division of Medical Marijuana, says there are varying factors that play a role in this spike. Along with opening more dispensaries the legislature made changes to the program that Wahl says are very beneficial to qualifying patients.
"They did increase the number of debilitating medical conditions that allow individuals with certain with certain conditions now to apply for the program where they maybe weren’t eligible to apply for the program before." said Wahl.
Harvest of Bismarck General Manager Ben Hecht says they want their product to be as accessible to patients and have programs in place to assist with that.
Hecht said, "A discount for veteran, a discount for , we call it our wisdom discount, for individuals 65 years and older, and we also offer a discount for qualifying patients called out compassionate care discount program."
Wahl says if the patient population continues to grow changes in dispensary operation hours will need to change. Wahl also says they hope to keep the processing of applications short if the number continues to grow. For more information on how to become a card holder go to health.nd.gov