Federal Updates


North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is one of several attorney generals who signed a letter urging Congress to advance legislation that would allow states that have legalized medical or recreational use of marijuana to bring that commerce into the banking system. To read the full letter, click here.


Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced a house resolution bill entitled the Restraining Excessive Federal Enforcement and Regulations of Cannabis Act, or REFER Act for short, in an attempt to “protect states and individuals in states that have laws which permit the use of cannabis, and for other purposes.” To see H.R.4779-REFER Act of 2018, click here. To see all other information regarding the REFER act of 2018, click here.


On January 4, 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo rescinding all previous federal guidance specific to marijuana enforcement. See a copy of the memo here. The Sessions Memo included rescinding the 2013 Cole Memo, which provided guidance to states with marijuana programs. 

The Division of Medical Marijuana will continue to implement the Medical Marijuana Program as prescribed in the law passed by the 2017 Legislative Assembly. The Division’s goal continues to be to implement a safe, effective, and well-regulated medical marijuana program. The Division will monitor information from the federal government, and will continue to provide updates on program implementation on this website.

Marijuana remains an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act. North Dakota law does not make the use of usable marijuana under the medical marijuana program legal under federal law, and does not create a defense to a federal prosecution for a drug related offense.