If passed, an Arizona cannabis bill could enforce new cannabis testing lab regulations and lower annual patient fees.
Senator Sonny Borrelli has written a proposal that would require the State Department of Agriculture to test all cannabis flowers sold in the medical program. He now has nearly the entire Legislation signed on in support of the proposal. The proposed bill would also lower the average patient cost for a medical cannabis card. To make this a reality, $2 million from the state’s medical cannabis fund would go towards making the testing program work for the industry. Costs for patients would go from $150 in annual fees to $50 with $25 for a renewal. Cannabis medicine is already out of pocket (ie. not covered by insurance) and expensive in the state, so Arizona patients will find great comfort if this bill is passed.
The support of the Legislation majority (78/90) is only bolstered by the vocal support of the Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association. During an announcement, Arizona’s Family investigative report on the mold found in Encanto cannabis flowers helped the bill gain traction. The previous opposition pertaining to additional costs became irrelevant when the huge issue of moldy cannabis became a reality in the state.
Under the regulations, pesticide and other chemical testing would be completed by the State Department of Agriculture. Additionally, the Health Services Department would be tasked with ensuring cannabis flowers and products are free of mold and develop potency testing using the money currently sitting in the fund. Current fees for a medical cannabis card in Arizona far outweigh the cost to run the program. That means the fund is at $35 million right now and growing. Because this proposal amends a voter-approved law, it needs a ¾ approval of the Legislature to pass.
Clean cannabis and affordable medical cannabis licenses are the highlights of this bill, and if passed it could increase the quality of life of cannabis patients in Arizona.