PHOENIX — Before a pharmaceutical drug gets approved for people to use—it has to undergo an approval process by the FDA—which takes years.
But when it comes to Medical Marijuana in Arizona that’s not the case—there’s no law that regulates cannabis to be tested for safety.
Digging into the weeds of the 32 states where medical marijuana is legalized Arizona is one of a few that does not require testing.
Meaning you really don’t know what’s in the marijuana.
“We have to treat it like medicine and for the past 8 or 9 years since it got rolled out, we have not been treating it that way,” said Ryan Treacy from C4 Laboratories.
Treacy said he’s seen it all, “we were seeing high levels of microbiological contaminants very high levels of yeast and mold.”
Treacy said the majority of dispensaries in the Valley voluntarily do get their product tested, but not to check for micro critters, to prove how high their product will get you.
“I would say 50 50 as to who does potency and safety testing and who just does potency side of analysis,” said Treacy.
“It got to a point where we couldn’t do anything about what we were seeing, The Department of Health Services is not set up to receive complaints like that,” said Treacy.
Because it’s not mandated in the legislation, Steve White president of the Arizona Dispensary Association supports testing reform and is pushing for that to change.
“We need to ensure people understand this is not a political party issue, but a public safety issue,” said White.
“It truly is because you’re talking about people that HIV, cancer, and we can’t be adding to their problems if we are not ensuring it’s free from chemicals,” said Treacy.
Currently, more than 200 thousand patients are cardholders in the state.