Arizona medical marijuana testing bill moves closer to governor's desk

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A state lawmaker plans to proposal a measure that would require medical marijuana products to undergo independent tests for safety and accurate labeling for the first time in Arizona. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A state lawmaker plans to proposal a measure that would require medical marijuana products to undergo independent tests for safety and accurate labeling for the first time in Arizona. (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)
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)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A bill that would regulate medical marijuana for the first time in Arizona is now one major vote away from reaching the governor's desk.

[READ MORE: Medical marijuana testing bill passed by AZ Senate, heads to House]

The bill, SB 1440, would require labs to test marijuana for chemicals and molds and would be the first of its kind for Arizona. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Sonny Borrelli of Lake Havasu City who says Arizona is behind on this issue, compared to other states.

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

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

The industry is continuing to grow, but the regulation hasn't kept up. Borrelli's bill would put medical marijuana under the watch of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health. 

The measure would call for $2 million of the state's medical marijuana fund to be appropriated for lab testing.

Late last year, an investigation by Arizona's Family found that an independent lab test detected mold on marijuana at a Phoenix dispensary. 

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

Of the four samples tested by Delta Verde Laboratory, three showed “total yeast and mold” levels that would exceed safety limits set by states like Colorado, Washington and Massachusetts.

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

The bill is popular on both sides of the aisle.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

Borelli has gotten 78 co-sponsors for this bill, including the Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. There are 90 members total in the Legislature.

The bill could be signed into law as early as April 20.

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