For the past 12 weeks, lawmakers have been learning about medical marijuana. Wednesday, October 10, they unanimously agreed on the first round of recommendations regulating it.
The legislative committee made up of Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate, was formed after the Board of Health developed a set of overly restrictive rules. The legislative committee vowed not to do that. They agreed on labeling and testing standards.
"After it's grown we're going to test it to make sure it doesn't have poisons, pesticides, and also test the potency of it. Since it’s a medicine like every other medicine you want to make sure you know that it actually has the medicinal values you're looking for,” said Senator Greg McCortney (R) Committee Co-chair.
Those testing standards would go into effect May 15, to give laboratories time to set up. Until then, consumers can buy medical marijuana untested and at their own risk.
"It very easily could have contaminants. It could have heavy metals. It could really harm you,” said McCortney.
The legislative committee also agreed to recommend allowing dispensaries to sell mature plants, not just seedlings. But keep in mind these are just recommendations for the Board of Health.
"And if they don't approve the recommendation? I mean this is simply a recommendation so if they don't what's our next step?" asked Representative Ben Loring (D) Ottawa.
McCortney responded, "I think at that moment the need for the legislature to be called into special session goes through the roof."
Lawmakers say they’re pleased with this first set of recommendations.
"We had a room full of people who wanted to do what was right. We worked through some hard issues that not everyone agreed with on everything. And we compromised,” said Representative Jon Echols (R) Majority Floor Leader. “And today is a day I'm going to go home feeling like it was better."