Move afoot to test Arizona’s medical cannabis for mold, pesticides

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A Republican lawmaker has persuaded nearly the entire Arizona 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.

Borrelli has 78 co-sponsors for the measure, including the Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. There are 90 members of the legislature.

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 MMJ fund.

The Health Services Department would set up testing to ensure marijuana is free of mold and also would potentially write rules on potency testing.

Laura Bianchi, who heads the cannabis department at Scottsdale-based Rose Law Group, said the lack of a testing requirement is a “huge gap” in the state’s MMJ program, which launched in late 2012.

She noted that many retailers are doing testing either in-house or through third-party labs.

Because the lawmaker’s proposal amends a law approved by voters in 2010, it will require approval from 75% of the legislature.

– Associated Press