Cannabis laboratories report

Accrediting labs is core work for us. We accredit nearly 500 drinking water labs throughout Washington and across the nation. Because we have expertise in lab accreditation, we were recently directed by the Legislature to research protocols and accreditation standards for cannabis testing laboratories.

Scientist stands at lab table pouring white powder into a funnel over a flask of clear liquid. The flask sits on a blue absorbent pad and has a tube emerging from its side.

Accreditation Report

Our legislative report on cannabis lab accreditation is now available. The report includes discussion of four proposed models.

Report to the Legislature

The 2018 – 2019 budget included a proviso that directed us to develop a report for the Legislature that provides recommendations for cannabis lab accreditation.

We reviewed current Washington policies and practices and those from other states as. The gaps we found in our research include a lack of processes, protocols, and procedures that ensure labs can proficiently test products and produce accurate results.

Based on our research and findings, multiple actions must take place to establish a robust and defensible cannabis laboratory accreditation program implemented by Ecology or any other accrediting body.

The primary challenge to developing an improved accreditation program for Washington cannabis laboratories is the lack of established laboratory quality standards. To overcome this, and close the gaps, we recommended five actions:

  • Assemble a cannabis science task force.
  • Establish new laboratory quality standards.
  • Adopt new laboratory quality standards.
  • Maintain the current private accreditation provider until the new laboratory quality standards are in place.
  • Designate Ecology’s Laboratory Accreditation Unit as the accreditation provider for Washington cannabis testing laboratories
You can learn more on our cannabis lab accreditation web page.

About accreditation

Laboratory test results impact many areas of our daily lives — assurance of safe drinking water, food safety, health care, environmental monitoring, providing energy, mineral exploration, and various production processes. Government agencies and others rely on the competence of laboratories to deliver the results on which important decisions are made. Accreditation enhances public confidence in those test results and is a tool to show that labs are capable to producing accurate data.

We already administer an established environmental and drinking water laboratory accreditation program, where nearly 500 laboratories are currently accredited. We leveraged our experience in running a laboratory accreditation program to inform our recommendations.