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State picks medical marijuana dispensary for Williston

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The company picked to run a medical marijuana dispensary in Williston has dispensary operations around the nation.

The North Dakota Department of Health’s Division of Medical Marijuana announced Thursday that it had picked HOFW LLC (Harvest of Williston) to move forward with the registration process in Williston. Harvest of Williston is owned by Harvest Inc., a medical marijuana consulting business that operates dispensaries in several states.

We-Mend LLC, operating as Strive Life, was picked for Grand Forks.

The selections followed the announcement in September that HOFB LLC (Harvest of Bismarck) was picked for the Bismarck/Mandan region while Acreage North Dakota LLC, was chosen for Fargo. The state expects the application period for the other four dispensary regions in the state will open in January.

The announcement of a dispensary chosen for Williston comes almost exactly two years after voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana for the state and a bit more than a week after voters rejected a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana.

Ben Kimbro, director of Public Affairs for Harvest Inc. said his company has been working with Williston officials.

“We work hand-in-glove with the relevant local governments and regulators,” he said.

He said he’s been pleased with the way North Dakota has handled the rollout of medical marijuana. The state has to balance the needs of patients with avoiding any unintended consequences from quickly drafted regulations.

“I would commend North Dakota for taking their time,” he said.

With four of eight dispensaries selected, the state is now taking applications for medical marijuana patients and designated caregivers. The Division of Medical Marijuana is expecting it to be another month before those cards are distributed, according to Jason Wahl, the division’s director.

“For qualifying patient registry identification cards, we are not anticipating printing them until at least mid-December,” Wahl said Thursday.

There is no timeline from the division for when the first dispensaries in the state might open.

“The entities moving forward to become a registered dispensary need to have their plans approved by the local government in order for them to obtain a permit to start their renovation/construction work,” Wahl said. “A dispensary could only open after meeting all state law requirements to obtain a registration certificate.”

Read more at Williston Herald here.