MMJ advisory council holds first meeting

By Adam Trenk, partner and Director of Rose Law Group Cannabis and Hemp Departments, and Omar Abdallah, attorney, who handles hemp-related issues. 

While the State Department of Agriculture is working on protocols for testing hemp crops to determine whether their THC content is below the legal threshold of 0.3%, Arizona is also busy working on plans to test medical marijuana for quality assurance.

The Medical Marijuana Testing Advisory Council met yesterday for its first of four meetings at the Arizona Department of Health Services to discuss medical marijuana testing in Arizona. The twelve-person council, comprised of local industry experts including dispensary agents and a laboratory scientist, is tasked with offering insight and providing recommendations to the department toward establishment of a testing program. 

Newly passed state law requires medical marijuana dispensaries to begin testing their products at certified labs by November 1, 2020. To qualify as a State certified lab for medical marijuana, labs must have their testing methods validated.  

The Council stated yesterday that while it has begun accepting applications for certification already, and it recommends interested labs do that to get a head start, it won’t be able to validate a lab’s testing methods until regulations surrounding the method validation process are complete.  

The Council will help guide the State Department of Health Services in that process.

At its first meeting, councilmembers introduced themselves, and a presentation was made that reviewed testing methods and procedures used by other states 

The Council is scheduled to meet again October 24, where it will continue discussion on testing and potency standards, sample collection and storage, reporting, remediation, and disposal of marijuana.