Rep. Decides Arizona Medical Marijuana Patients Deserve Protection

Arizona Has Had No Quality Regulations on Medical Marijuana Thus Far

Currently, there are no state regulations forcing Arizona medical marijuana dispensaries to test their product and provide legal marijuana consumers with labeling that would explain what exactly they are purchasing. Rep. Sonny Borrelli is not an advocate for medical marijuana but is introducing SB 1420, a bill that, if approved, would force dispensaries to have the marijuana lab tested and labeled appropriately.

There are 150,000 registered medical marijuana patients in Arizona and as of now they have to pay $150 each year to the state just to have a license, yet the state gives them nothing in return. Rep. Sonny Borrelli is familiar with Eagle 20, a fungicide that federal regulations do not allow on plants since it has proven to be a carcinogen. There is no authority in Arizona currently that would prevent a cannabis grower from using the potentially fatal substance.

SB 1420 would give the state Department of Agriculture the same authority over marijuana as it now has over other plants offered for sale for consumption. That would give agriculture inspectors the power to inspect the cultivation facilities where marijuana is grown.

More to the point, Borrelli wants what is being grown tested for what operators are using on the plants.

“It’s the Wild West,” he said of the current state of marijuana regulation, with no rules on pesticides and other chemicals being used on the plants.

“Well, I think the person that’s buying that stuff, they need to know there’s a heavy carcinogen in there,” Borrelli said. “If you’re a cancer patient, would you want to be taking medicine that could make you even sicker?”

Nothing in the legislation would ban any specific chemical. But it would require that when the marijuana is sold at the dispensary that buyers are made aware that it was used in the production.


The new bill would not ban the use of Eagle 20, or mandate that marijuana contain certain THC levels, it would simply force medical marijuana dispensaries to label all of their cannabis so that consumers can see what is in the plant.

“If they’re going to advertise there’s 20 percent THC and it’s only 5 percent, they need to relabel it,” he said.

Rep. Sonny Borrelli’s new bill would also force the state to reduce the annual fee to have a medical marijuana license from $150 to $50 for the first year and $25 for renewing the license each year.

Lab testing is something that many legal marijuana states require and will even force dispensaries and growers to dispose of any cannabis that does not meet state requirements. Are you surprised to hear that there has been no regulation on Arizona medical marijuana?

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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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