BY MIKEL WEISSER
Congratulations Arizona, you now have a medical marijuana program with testing requirements on all cannabis products. According to sources at the Capitol, late Friday afternoon, Governor Doug Ducey called Sen David Gowan to congratulate him on SB1494, as he signed the bill into law.
The finished cannabis testing package was the work of legislators from both parties. Led by the newly formed ACLA (Arizona Cannabis Labs Association), multiple stakeholders participated including Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Dispensary Association leadership, MITA-AZ, multiple lobbyists and Arizona NORML, who started the process in 2017 with Dr Hope Jones and Sen Sonny Borrelli.
The Arizona Department of Health Services will have approximately 18 months to form an advisory board and finalize the regulatory package based on the new law. The new cannabis testing regulations will take effect November 1st, 2020 and require Arizona dispensaries to have products tested for contaminants and toxins by a third-party laboratory. According to the governor’s office the effective date for the new card cost provisions is August 26, 2019.
In addition to creating and regulating testing for all cannabis products sold in the state’s MMJ program, SB1494 will also extend medical marijuana card renewals from one to two years and return some future dispensary licenses to the rural parts of the state.