Starting on November 1, all cannabis sold at medical cannabis dispensaries in Arizona must be tested for purity before it can be sold in stores.
This new ruling was made legal under Senate Bill 1494, which will be overseen directly by the Arizona Department of Health Services. The wording of the bill explains that cannabis products will be tested to determine if there are any unsafe levels of microbial contamination, as well as the presence of everything from heavy metals, pesticides and other residual solvents.
The labs that will carry out this third-party testing will use special equipment to determine quality of cannabis, which will be an overhead cost for the industry “The new mandatory testing will be a new overhead cost for Arizona dispensaries that could result in a small price increase for medical marijuana at many dispensaries,” stated an unnamed dispensary manager in an interview. Cannabis testing facilities expect to be overrun once this process begins.
Medical cannabis cultivation operations can also expect to prepare for a list of banned pesticides and other hazardous materials (such as arsenic, lead and mercury), similar to how legislators in Oregon approached the topic.
Arizona was one of the few states that did not have mandatory testing, but with the help of SB-1494 it will be joining the ranks of other legal states that also hold their cannabis up to a certain level of purity. Still, it is anticipated that there will be a period of adjustment as the state gets used to the new regulations and prepares for the influx of new product to be tested.