In early June, Governor, Doug Ducey supposedly signed the Senate Bill 1494, which requires “registered non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries” to test cannabis for potential toxins reports Cannabis Business Times.
As per the claims made, the bill enforces a 12-member committee, in which members with various roles belonging to the cannabis industry will be handpicked by the director of the Department of Health Services (DHS).
The law is believed to come into effect after November 1, 2020. This means that any medical marijuana product sold after this date will have to undergo the necessary testing for the overall potency of said solution as well as the possible presence of solvents, pesticides and heavy metals among others.
According to the Political Director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP),
“Patients need and deserve to know what is in the product they are consuming. The goal of the program is to help people with debilitating health conditions.”
All this being said, here’s what consumers and businesses need to know:
How Should Testing be Dealt With and Perceived?
Cannabis businesses have been advised to perform internal testing to avoid consequences that arise from toxins. Internal testing implies testing the overall cleanliness of the facilities used, as well as the growing and processing procedures.
AJ Montgomery, Head of Marketing for cannabis brand, Huxton, hopes businesses will be reactive to this decision, as the latter is necessary to ensure that the industry is evolving in the right direction. He further notes that this bill ensures that more businesses will be transparent about their products. This is an important facet as not all medical marijuana is created equally.
Changes to Medical Marijuana Consumption
In addition to how testing should be dealt and perceived, the following changes will be made in relation to said uses:
- Medical marijuana patients to renew their state-issued cards every 2 years versus yearly
- The annual $150 fee for card renewal will now be a biannual fee
- Rural populations will be prioritized when issuing dispensary licenses
- DHS is given the authority to conduct inspections of licensed cannabis businesses and are allowed to take action accordingly
- Possible removal of restricted quantity of cannabis purchased
- Possible involvement of doctors in deciding which health conditions most require medical marijuana
What are your thoughts on the Senate Bill 1494? Do you think Arizona’s approach in flourishing the medical marijuana market is spot on? Let us know in the comments below.