Updated 9:37 am, Monday, May 21, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota has chosen a Pennsylvania-based company to perform laboratory testing for the state’s medical marijuana program.

The Health Department says Keystone State Testing is expected to set up shop in Fargo and will operate as Dakota State Testing.

State Medical Marijuana Director Jason Wahl says the lab will ensure medical marijuana dispensed in North Dakota is safe.

State law allows the use of medical marijuana for 17 medical conditions, along with terminal illnesses. The drug was approved by voters in November 2016 and is expected to be available to patients late this year.

The state is registering medical marijuana manufacturing facilities in Bismarck and Fargo, and earlier selected a Florida-based company to implement a system to monitor the drug program.

Application periods will soon be held for dispensaries, patients and caregivers.

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