Rep. Decides Arizona Medical Marijuana Patients Deserve Protection

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.

โ€œItโ€™s the Wild West,โ€ he said of the current state of marijuana regulation, with no rules on pesticides and other chemicals being used on the plants.

โ€œWell, I think the person thatโ€™s buying that stuff, they need to know thereโ€™s a heavy carcinogen in there,โ€ Borrelli said. โ€œIf youโ€™re a cancer patient, would you want to be taking medicine that could make you even sicker?โ€

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.

โ€œIf theyโ€™re going to advertise thereโ€™s 20 percent THC and itโ€™s only 5 percent, they need to relabel it,โ€ 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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