When Arizona voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2010, Steve Cottrell saw a way to combine his laboratory background and his interest in the plant he'd been studying since his 11-year-old son died of cancer more than a decade before.
Cottrell is now the owner of AZ Med Testing, a medical marijuana testing laboratory. Dispensaries pay Cottrell and his business partner, Brenda Perkins, to test marijuana samples for mold and pesticides.
"We're making money, but we definitely have our challenges," he said. "But now that dispensaries are open, it's moving forward."
According to a study sponsored by the Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association, the two jobs at AZ Med Testing are among estimated 1,500 that will be created by Arizona's medical marijuana industry.