On November 1, 2020, mandatory testing of all medical marijuana sold at Arizona dispensaries begins.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) will oversee Senate Bill 1494, which requires the new testing rules.
SB 1494 reads, in part, that Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries must test “marijuana and marijuana products for medical use to determine unsafe levels of microbial contamination, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, growth regulators and residual solvents and confirm the potency of the marijuana to be dispensed.”
The ADHS’s Office of Laboratory Licensing and Certification noted that third-party cannabis testing labs in Arizona will need sophisticated equipment to test the multiple forms of medical marijuana products available on the market. The labs will also need to determine how to cope with the impending influx in volume.
“The new mandatory testing will be a new overhead cost for Arizona dispensaries that could result in a small price increase for medical marijuana at many dispensaries,” a dispensary manager told AZmarijuana.com.
Arizona will likely follow in the footsteps of Oregon because of its strict marijuana testing regulations, which include an extensive list of banned pesticides.
It is expected that the ADHS will ban approximately 18 residual and toxic substances from cannabis sold in Arizona. Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury are expected to be banned.
Until now, Arizona has been one of the only states in the country with a medical marijuana program that didn’t require testing.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson