Medical marijuana testing bill passed by AZ Senate, heads to House

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The Senate passed a bill that would require certain testing on medical marijuana. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Senate passed a bill that would require certain testing on medical marijuana. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Right now, medical marijuana is not required to be tested for things like molds, pesticides and E.coli. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Right now, medical marijuana is not required to be tested for things like molds, pesticides and E.coli. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borrelli introduced SB 1440. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borrelli introduced SB 1440. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The state of Arizona now one step closer to requiring medical marijuana testing, a Senate decision Brandy Williams is thankful for.

As a mom, I just want to improve the quality of his life," said Williams.

Her 7-year-old son Logan qualified for a medical marijuana card because of his epilepsy, and she said not only did medical cannabis stop his seizures completely but also helped his autism.

[READ MORE: Arizona lawmakers call for medical marijuana testing; end to 'Wild West' mentality]

“He’s getting enough relief to where he can actually learn and thrive in a school environment,” said Williams.

But because medical marijuana is not required to be tested for things like molds, pesticides and E.coli, she’s paying out of pocket to get it tested, because that bacteria could kill Logan due to his neurological deficits.

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

“I feel like if they’re going to be doing this as a business that they should be held to a certain standard,” said Williams.

And that’s why Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borrelli introduced SB 1440, to require that testing that already exists in other states.

[RELATED: Business owners weigh in on new bill designed to regulate medical marijuana safety]

“We’re really way behind the power curve on this one,” said Borrelli.

Democrats had originally supported a provision in the bill that would’ve lowered patient card costs from the current $150 a year to only $50 a year with a $25 annual renewal, but Borrelli was able to pass the bill in the Senate keeping that $150 cost.

[READ MORE: State lawmaker drops lower medical marijuana fees from bill]

“If it’s mold, it shouldn’t be sold. This is a medicine let’s treat it as such,” said Borrelli.

Now the bill will need to pass by a 3/4 vote in the House to move forward. That vote is expected to happen in a few weeks.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

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Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

Click to learn more about Briana.

Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMY awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

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