SB 1420: medical marijuana; inspection; testing; appropriation

PRIME SPONSOR: Senator Borrelli, LD 5

BILL STATUS: Military, Veterans & Regulatory Affairs


AZDA – Arizona Department of Agriculture
ADHS – Arizona Department of Health Services
BOD –  Board of Directors
Dispensary – Nonprofit Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Amendments – BOLD and Stricken (Committee)


☒ Prop 105 (45 votes)	     ☐ Prop 108 (40 votes)      ☒ Emergency (40 votes)	☐ Fiscal NoteRelating to the testing and inspection of medical marijuana.


1.       Establishes medical marijuana as an agricultural commodity that is subject to regulation beginning June 1, 2019. (Sec. 1)

2.       Allows the AZDA Director to adopt necessary rules relating to the cultivation of medical marijuana. (Sec. 1)

3.       Requires for a person that provides laboratory analysis of medical marijuana to apply for a certificate from the Arizona agricultural laboratory. (Sec. 2)

4.       Requires the AZDA Director to adopt rules for the certification of laboratories that analyze, sample and test medical marijuana.

a.       Laboratories must report the test results only to the Dispensary or designated caregiver that cultivates the marijuana, ADHS and the Arizona agricultural laboratory. (Sec. 2)

5.       Prohibits an employee of AZDA or an employee of any contracted third-party testing facility to be charged with or prosecuted for possession of any amount of medical marijuana or any sample of marijuana that is being used for testing. (Sec. 2)

6.       Extends the definition of a plant or crop to include marijuana that is cultivated for medical use by a Dispensary or a designated caregiver.  (Sec. 3)

7.       Extends the definition of agricultural seed to include seeds of marijuana that is cultivated for medical use by a Dispensary or a designated caregiver. (Sec. 4)

8.       Allows the AZDA Director to enter, at reasonable times, on private property where medical marijuana is cultivated for the purpose of ascertaining compliance or noncompliance with rules or orders. 

a.       The Director must notify the Dispensary or the designated caregiver when entering on the property. (Sec. 5)

9.       Removes the requirement that ADHS establishes a sliding scale of patient applications and renewal fees based on a qualifying patient's household income. (Sec. 6)

10.   Requires a Dispensary agent to register with ADHS before employment. (Sec. 7)

11.   Permits a registered Dispensary agent to be employed by or volunteer at any registered Dispensary that is owned by the same corporation and has the same BODs or principal officers. (Sec. 7)

12.   Requires a registered Dispensary agent to provide ADHS with the name and location of a different Dispensary within 10 days of beginning employment or volunteer work. (Sec. 7)

13.   Permits a Dispensary agent to use their same registration, for employment or volunteer work, at multiple Dispensaries owned by the same corporation with the same BODs or principal officers. (Sec. 7)

14.   Requires ADHS to do the following:

a.       Establish inspection protocols for Dispensaries that include the inspection of dispensary premises beginning June 1, 2019 for sanitary conditions, storing and processing medical marijuana and for the existence of mold in any building operated by the dispensary; and

b.       Establish remediation requirements for Dispensary premises where an inspection violation is found. (Sec. 8)

15.   Requires ADHS to collect samples of each medical marijuana product being sold for testing to confirm that the product doesn't include mold, pathogenic bacteria or other harmful adulterants. 

a.       The product must be labeled correctly and the disclosure document included with the product reflects any chemical used in producing the product and the actual contents of the product. (Sec. 8)

16.   Allows ADHS to contract with a third-party independent laboratory to collect and test the medical marijuana product samples.

a.       If a product is not labeled correctly or a disclosure document is not accurate based on the results of the testing, the product must be returned to the Dispensary and be labeled correctly before being dispensed.  (Sec. 8)

17.   Requires for all medical marijuana products to be in childproof containers and have the registered qualifying patient's name and registry identification card number indicated on the label. 

a.       The product must include a written disclosure listing all chemical compounds used during the cultivation of the product as tested. (Sec. 8)

18.   Prohibits an employee of ADHS or an employee of any contracted third-party testing facility to be charged with or prosecuted for possession of any amount of medical marijuana that is used as a sample for testing. (Sec. 8)

19.   Appropriates $2,000,000 from the medical marijuana fund in FY 2019 to AZDA for regulating marijuana as an agricultural commodity.

a.       The appropriation is exempt from lapsing. (Sec. 9)

20.   Exempts AZDA from the rulemaking requirement for one year after the effective date. (Sec. 10)

21.   Establishes this act as the Medical Marijuana Reform Act. (Sec. 11)

22.   Makes technical and conforming changes. (Sec. 2-8)

Current Law

Arizona voters passed Proposition 203 in 2010, an initiative measure to adopt and enforce a regulatory system for medical marijuana. Proposition 203 outlined requirements for medical marijuana and required ADHS to adopt rules for implementation (A.R.S. §§ 36-2801 through 36-2819).

A person who establishes, conducts or maintains an agricultural laboratory that provides services to Arizona agencies or departments must apply for a certificate from the Arizona agricultural laboratory as proof that the laboratory is certified and is in compliance with rules adopted by the AZDA Director (A.R.S. § 3-145).

A Dispensary agent must be registered with ADHS before volunteering or working at a medical marijuana dispensary.  A Dispensary may apply to ADHS for a registry identification card for an agent by submitting: 1) the name, address and date of birth of the agent, 2) an application, 3) a statement signed by the agent pledging not to divert marijuana to anyone who is not allowed to possess marijuana and 4) an application fee (A.R.S. § 36-2804.01). 

Registered Dispensaries are subject to reasonable inspection by ADHS and there must be reasonable notice of the inspection (A.R.S. § 36-2806).



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Fifty-third Legislature                  SB 1420

Second Regular Session                               Version 1: Military, Veterans & Regulatory Affairs


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