Business owners weigh in on new bill designed to regulate medical marijuana safety

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A bill that would regulate medical marijuana safety is expected to be introduced on Monday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A bill that would regulate medical marijuana safety is expected to be introduced on Monday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, is behind the bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, is behind the bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A report last month by CBS 5 Investigates found mold on medical marijuana sold in the Valley that would not meet standards set by other states. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A report last month by CBS 5 Investigates found mold on medical marijuana sold in the Valley that would not meet standards set by other states. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Many cannabis business owners are in favor of the bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Many cannabis business owners are in favor of the bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

On Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, a state lawmaker plans to reveal details of a new bill that, if passed, would require safety testing of medical marijuana for the first time in Arizona.

It's a topic Arizona's Family has covered for weeks. Now cannabis business owners are beginning to weigh in on the proposal.

The medical marijuana industry to date has no safety testing.

“Right now, currently there are no safety regulations -- that's one of the issues with citizen's initiatives, people write things, they overlook things,” says Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City.

[READ MORE: Lawmaker wants safety testing of Arizona's medical marijuana]

Now lawmakers want to change that. Borrelli is introducing Senate Bill 1420, which will require safety regulations and testing for medical marijuana. Testing for things like chemicals, pesticides and mold. As well as mandate proper and accurate labeling.

“They're taking medicine that's supposed to help them, could actually make them sicker. Well, we want to avoid that. We want to make sure that the customer, the consumer, the patient if you will, is fully informed of what they're ingesting,” says Sen. Borrelli.

This is all on the heels of an Arizona’s Family report about testing on marijuana sold in Phoenix. Three of the four samples tested had levels of mold that would not be acceptable in other states.

[RELATED: Lab tests find mold on medical marijuana sold in Phoenix; 'It should be pulled off the shelf']

"There's [sic] things in these chemicals that people are spraying on marijuana that they don't know what the effects are they haven't been proven by the FDA safe to smoke, some aren't even safe to eat. When there's no regulation you don't know what you're getting,” said Alan Kamben, who is the chief operating officer and owner at Dicot Partners, which is a cannabis producer.

We spoke with cannabis industry leaders, who say they are on board with this bill.

“People should know what's in the products. If we're going to call this medicine then this should be medicine. You should have the cleanest possible, you should be buying 100 percent pure cannabis,” said Kamben.

"I'm all for it. I think you should have everything tested and that you should be fully transparent. Transparency builds trust,” said Payton Curry, who is a cannabis cook and owner of a cannabis cuisine company.

They agree that it comes down to patient safety and industry trust.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

“I think there are a lot of people where we've already had this mindset for a long time. It probably makes sense we shouldn't be eating toxic chemicals or ingesting toxic chemicals,” said Kamben.

"I'm a cook and I want the same trust and feeling I get in a can of beans that I buy for some of my restaurants and I know there aren't mold or pathogens in there that are gonna get anyone sick. We need regulation because we're feeding a lot of people,” said Curry.

They say safety regulations just make sense.

“For people that don't want the government and don't want regulation, I remember not wanting a babysitter at my house when my parents were gone too. I wanted to run amuck and not be held accountable but when you want to have a business you need accountability,” said Curry. 

Despite any additional cost that might be involved here, they say that is the price of doing business right and safely.

This bill is also very popular in the Legislature. It has about 80 co-sponsors.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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