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Pharmacy law petitions brought to Secretary Jaeger

 BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Supporters of changing North Dakota's pharmacy ownership law say they have the necessary signatures to get their measure on the ballot.

The Secretary of State's Office says supporters brought more than 1,400 petitions to Secretary of State Al Jaeger Friday. Organizing officials told the office they had collected almost 24,000 signatures. They need 13,452 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

The proposed measure would change a requirement in North Dakota law that says majority ownership in pharmacies in the state must be held by a registered pharmacist. That could open the door for big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart to operate pharmacies in the state.

Jaeger has 35 days to determine the validity of the signatures and decide whether to place the measure on the ballot.