Arizona Legislatures Want To Test Medical Marijuana Quality And Reduce Prices

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PHOENIX — A Lake Havasu City senator figures it’s the state’s obligation to ensure medical-marijuana buyers are getting a safe product that’s as strong as advertised.

His proposal to have the state inspect growing facilities — and to reduce fees for medical-marijuana users — already has the support of more than three-fourths of the Legislature.

Republican Sen. Sonny Borrelli says he’s still not convinced that marijuana has any legitimate medical uses. But he notes that voters approved legalizing the drug for medical uses in 2010 and more than 150,000 Arizonans have state permission to buy and use it.

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His legislation, SB 1420, would give the state Agriculture Department the same authority over marijuana as it now has over other plants sold for consumption. Agriculture inspectors would have the power to inspect the cultivation facilities where marijuana is grown.

Borrelli wants the plants tested to see what operators are using on them. “It’s the Wild West,” he said of current marijuana regulation, which has no rules on pesticides and other chemicals being used on the plants.

For example, he cited a fungicide marketed as “Eagle 20.” Borrelli said federal regulations prohibit its use on tobacco “because it’s a heavy carcinogen.”

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