State health officials take steps to ensure safe and reliable marijuana for medical patients

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

State Department of Health officials took a major step Tuesday toward ensuring access to safe and reliable marijuana products that may be helpful to medical patients. Emergency rules filed today are intended to provide initial guidelines while the standard rule-making process is underway to adopt permanent rules under state legislation that brings recreational and medical laws together.

Two state laws passed by the 2015 legislature require state health officials to establish rules that set standards for active ingredients, testing, labeling, and safe handling of marijuana products. The rules must also include marijuana business employee education standards.

The deadline to have marijuana products available to qualifying medical patients that comply with the standards is July 1, 2016. The usual rulemaking process wouldn’t leave enough time for growers and processors to adopt procedures ensuring their products are compliant. Because the rules cover marijuana production from the earliest stage of plant growth, they must be in place at least six months before anticipated sales begin July 1. So emergency rules were filed today at the same time as the standard rules process, enabling growers to get started sooner while state health officials progress through the process for permanent rules.


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