Arizona Department Of Health Services Prepares To Regulate Lab Testing For Medical Marijuana

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 2:53pm
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 3:34pm

Arizona Department of Health Services Laboratory
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
Arizona Department of Health Services Laboratory in Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Health Services is preparing to comply with a new state law governing the testing of medical marijuana. 

The Medical Marijuana Testing Advisory Council met Thursday to discuss the challenges facing the state as it attempts to regulate legal weed.

A licensed laboratory will need to test products from growers and distributors by Nov. 1, 2020.

Steve Baker, chief of the office of laboratory licensing and certification at DHS, said the many forms of medical marijuana will call for updated testing methods.

“What you have to realize is, if it were just the flower, or just the plant, the methods are pretty good and established," Baker said.

He discussed the possibility of testing for microbes, heavy metals, solvents and pesticides.

Joe DeMenna is the member of the council representing medical marijuana patients. He says one of his biggest concerns is disruption of the supply chain.

"If these labs can’t get accredited in time, if DHS can’t get everything together in time, that creates a situation where patients may not have access to the medicine that they normally have access to on an ongoing basis,” DeManna said.

The advisory council is looking at best practices from all 50 states and will continue meeting throughout the fall.