New recommendations for medical cannabis testing in Arizona could increase prices

There are new recommendations when it comes to testing for medical cannabis in Arizona. This week, a council of industry experts submitted its thoughts to the state health department. The Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association is made up of several people who work in the medical cannabis industry. One of them, Steve Cottrell, says there are vendors who are working around the current rules. “It’s very easy for someone to spike a sample before it goes into a testing dispensary,” he said. “Instead of having a beer, it’s a shot of Everclear.”

That’s a big reason why Cottrell says testing changes are needed. Some cultivators can choose the sample they want to be tested, and the labeling may not accurately show how strong a product is. Right now, the person who tests the cannabis is given a sample chosen by the vendor. If it tests and is higher in potency, they can sell it for more money.

If the new recommendations are approved, the tester would have a larger batch to work with, and they would choose the sample to test, not the vendor. Cottrell says that would level the playing field and prevent cultivators from working around the current rules. “People were concerned on behalf of the industry. There are a lot of people in this space who are not playing by the rules when it comes to testing.”

Mint Cannabis COO and cofounder Raul Molina says the changes would increase testing costs. It would take longer, and the process would be more tedious. Molina says the cost would be passed on from the vendor to the supplier or dispensary. The higher price would then be passed on to the person buying the product. “The times and the cost are probably the two biggest factors people are going to complain about, but at the end of the day, we should be trying to put out the best product possible.”

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