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Arizona Senator Seeks to Ban Medical Marijuana Cultivation Chemicals

AZ Marijuana Lab Testing

Arizona senator Sonny Borrelli is attempting to ban the use of certain chemicals on medical marijuana sold by dispensaries in the state.

Lawmakers last session approved a bill, SB 1494, that Borrelli had been advocating which will require testing of all medical marijuana for herbicides, pesticides and other toxins before it can be sold to patients, reported Arizona Capitol Times. Medical marijuana testing will start no later than Nov. 1, 2020.

SB 1494 reads, in part, that dispensaries must third-party 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.”

However, Borelli believes there is a flaw in the way testing regulations will be determined because a special panel that consists of many Arizona cannabis industry professionals will be setting the testing standards.

“So, basically, it’s the fox watching the hen house,” Borrelli believes.

Borrelli would still like to see an complete ban on certain chemicals used during cultivation because it’d be safer for patients.

Along with other highly harmful chemicals used during cultivation, Borrelli has a specific chemical in mind: Eagle 20. It’s a fungicide that the tobacco industry is prohibited from using “because it’s a heavy carcinogen.”

“But there’s nothing to prevent them from using it (Eagle 20) in marijuana,” Borrelli said. If patients consume marijuana with Eagle 20 in it “they’re going to be taking something that could possibly be making them sicker.”

Since the inception of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, patients have indicated particular interest in having toxin-free medical marijuana. Hopefully the special panel will use that information to form exceptional testing standards in Arizona.

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

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