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 is following in the footsteps of Oregon because of its strict marijuana testing regulations, which include an extensive list of banned pesticides.
It is expected that around 18 residual and toxic substances will be banned from cannabis sold in Arizona, including heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury.
Until now, Arizona has been one of the only states in the country with a medical marijuana program that didn’t require testing. However, on Nov 1, it will initiate one of the strictest testing requirements in the country.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson