Dispensaries oppose new marijuana rules

Marijuana contaminated with bacteria || NYPD

By Ryan Randazzo || The Arizona Republic

Marijuana testing experts are sending three recommendations for improving cannabis safety to the director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, though who will hold that role under Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs is unclear.

The Medical Marijuana Testing Advisory Council voted Tuesday to recommend the changes in its annual report to the DHS director, as required by law. The Legislature created the committee in 2019 when requiring the testing of all marijuana products at certified labs before they are sold.

The recommendations for new rules seek to close loopholes in the testing regulations to prevent the sale of contaminated marijuana and to improve the accuracy of potency labeling. Recent investigations by The Arizona Republic have found both contaminated products sold to medical patients and wildly inflated potency claims on marijuana packaging.

But new governors usually appoint new department directors, especially when there is a change in political party affiliation like will occur in the transition from Republican Gov. Doug Ducey to Democrat Hobbs.

The director is Don Herrington, who took over on an interim basis last year.

If Hobbs replaces him, it will mark the first time the booming marijuana industry in Arizona is regulated by a DHS director appointed by a Democrat since medical marijuana sales began in 2012. Recreational sales to adults 21 and older began in 2021, significantly increasing the size of the industry.


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December 2022