Medical Marijuana Testing Bill Awaits House Approval

Legislative inaction could jeopardize patient safety

A GUEST COLUMN BY MATT ROBERTS

Scottsdale, AZ – Thirty-three of thirty-four states who have approved the use of medical

marijuana have also required mandatory testing to ensure patient safety. Guess which state

doesn’t?

As Arizona lawmakers close in on an agreement to require independent third parties analyze the

medicine for harmful toxins and molds, a renewed sense of urgency to have the state put

safeguards in place has emerged from both sides of the political aisle.

The bill, (SB1494) unanimously passed by the Senate in March, awaits action in the House of

Representatives. However, with the possibility of session ending at any moment, supporters of

the bill are calling on lawmakers to move on a bill that unanimously passed in the Senate earlier

this year.

“Everyone agrees that now is the time to be proactive to protect patients from unsafe

contaminants,” said George Griffeth, President of the Arizona Cannabis Laboratory Association.

“As session winds down getting this common-sense legislation across the finish line is extremely

important. Currently 61 tons of medical marijuana is consumed by patients and many believe that

the number of people using the medicine will continue to grow. With a ballot initiative related to

the recreational use of marijuana facing voters next year, Arizona must act now to make sure

standards are in place.”

The legislation enjoys broad support among both parties as well as dispensary owners, Arizona NORML and the Marijuana Industry Trade Association.

“My colleagues and I are deeply concerned that more than two-hundred thousand people who

use medical marijuana could be inadvertently exposing themselves to toxic chemicals, E. Coli,

Salmonella or mold,” said Ryan Treacy, co-founder of the Association. “There isn’t any reason to

wait for someone to get sick before the legislature passes this bipartisan bill. Let’s get it done!”

“Imagine if the FDA wasn’t testing medicine?” continued Griffeth. “It’s crazy to think that there

isn’t any required process in place to make sure that harmful herbicides, fungicides and residual

solvents are not contained this medicine. The original intent was to adopt testing standards and

now is the time to move forward with those requirements. With little, if any opposition, I think most

people are hopeful this gets done as soon as possible.”

Matt Roberts works with Arizona Cannabis Laboratory Association

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