The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), which operates Arizona’s medical marijuana program, doesn’t require medical marijuana cultivators to lab test their marijuana for toxins such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, heavy metals and mold. The ADHS’ on-going decision on this matter is neglectfully steered in a direction that clearly shows how little they care about the health of the state’s 130,000 or so medical marijuana patients.
Due to the lack of reports about contaminated medical marijuana, the ADHS doesn’t see testing to be necessary, according to the Phoenix New Times. Meanwhile, every other type of consumable product found in Arizona requires strict testing, production and manufacturing guidelines.
Luckily, most, if not all, of Arizona’s marijuana cultivators use little to no pesticides, herbicides and insecticides — some even speak of growing organic –, but mold and other toxins can naturally develop on marijuana and testing is needed to determine the toxicity levels.
A vast majority of states that have implemented a medical marijuana program require testing because it’s a major health and safety issue for people to consume or inhale pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, heavy metals and mold.
Arizona’s Legislature has the power to pass a law forcing the ADHS to require testing. Former ADHS director, Will Humble, admits that he could have introduced testing mandate legislation in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, but didn’t because it could have delayed dispensaries from opening.
If the ADHS were to require that cultivators test their product before wholesaling or retailing it, prices at dispensaries would likely increase slightly, but the rare possibility of patients consuming harmful, toxic-laden marijuana would vanish.
Arizona does have marijuana lab testing facilities available that test flowers, edibles, and concentrates, and many patients and dispensaries willingly test their products; but, ultimately, it is completely legal for a cultivator and a dispensary to knowingly sell highly toxic marijuana. (Luckily, we’ve never heard of this happening and can’t imagine anyone who would.)
Arizona medical marijuana patients should report any marijuana-related health concerns to the ADHS.