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Medical marijuana facilities in Fargo and Bismarck approved to move ahead with registration process

Sheri Paulson of Galesburg, N.D., helped gather signatures to get the medical marijuana measure on the North Dakota ballot in 2016. On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the North Dakota Department of Health approved a medical marijuana facility in Fargo and another in Bismarck to move forward with the registration process to grow and sell to dispensaries across the state. Division director Jason Wahl called the selection a "major milestone in implementing the Medical Marijuana Program." David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — A medical marijuana facility in Fargo and another in Bismarck are blazing ahead in registering with the North Dakota Department of Health to grow and sell to dispensaries across the state.

GR Vending ND LLC, also known as Grassroots Cannabis, in Fargo was selected by the department's division of medical marijuana to move forward with the registration process, according to an announcement Wednesday, May 16, by division director Jason Wahl.

The two facilities selected to move forward will have additional requirements they must meet prior to a registration certificate being issued from the department.

Wahl told The Forum that the application for GR Vending is considered confidential and he could not disclose the names of those associated with the business. But the North Dakota Secretary of State lists one organizer as Steve Weisman, a 32-year-old former Chicago attorney turned medical marijuana mogul.

Weisman is the CEO of Windy City Cannabis, which has four medical marijuana dispensaries in Chicago. He is also pre-approved by the Maryland medical cannabis commission and his business, Maryland Compassionate Care & Wellness, is a licensed dispensary in the state.

Messages left with Weisman were not returned Wednesday.

Along with the Fargo facility, Pure Dakota LLC is moving along in bringing a medical marijuana manufacturing location to Bismarck.

David Meyer, a cattle rancher from Flasher, N.D., is the registered agent for the business. He did not return messages to The Forum.

The Bismarck Tribune reported that Meyer sold land to the Dakota Access Pipeline for $18 million to facilitate pipeline construction. Thousands of pipeline protesters camped directly south of the land.

Last year the Environmental Protection Agency quarantined 900 of Meyer's buffalo after Rozol poison was illegally used to kill prairie dogs on Meyer's former Cannonball Ranch near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Wahl said he will be meeting with the two entities next week to establish tentative timelines and determine when they will begin testing products.

He described the selection of the two facilities as a "major milestone in implementing the Medical Marijuana Program," according to a Wednesday press release.

The department said manufacturing facilities are only authorized to sell dried leaves or flowers and medical marijuana products to registered dispensaries.

Though the application period for dispensaries is not currently open, it is one of the next steps in the process of implementing the Medical Marijuana Program.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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