A Republican lawmaker has persuaded nearly the entire Legislature to sign on in support of his proposal to require medical marijuana to be tested for mold and agricultural chemicals.
The proposal from Sen. Sonny Borrelli would appropriate $2 million from the state’s huge medical marijuana fund to do the testing. It also would lower the $150 annual fee that patients need to pay to get a medical marijuana card to $50 and $25 for a renewal.
Borrelli has 78 co-sponsors for his measure, including the Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. There are 90 members of the Legislature.
The Lake Havasu City lawmaker said Monday that he wants to ensure patients know what they are consuming.
“Customers need to know what’s going on with this stuff they are buying that they are convinced that it’s going to help them,” Borrelli said. “We want to make sure that they understand that it’s not as pure and organic as they think it is.”
The proposal was embraced by an attorney who represents medical marijuana dispensaries and other marijuana-related businesses.
“From an industry perspective I am certainly not opposed to it,” said Laura Bianchi, who heads the cannabis department at Scottsdale-based Rose Law Group and represents a large number of companies growing, distributing and selling medical marijuana. “In fact I think testing requirements are an important component of any medical product.”
Borrelli’s proposal would require the state Department of Agriculture to test for pesticides and other chemicals, paid for with the $2 million from the fund. The Health Services Department would set up testing to ensure marijuana is free of mold, and potentially write rules on potency testing, using money currently sitting in the fund.
The program would be funded by the state’s medical marijuana fund, which has $35 million