Cannabis Science Task Force

Because of our expertise in laboratory accreditation, the Legislature is transferring cannabis lab accreditation to Ecology from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Formation and purpose of the Cannabis Science Task Force

House Bill 2052, the bill that transfers accreditation to us, requires a series of actions to bolster the existing program. One of those actions is the formation of the Cannabis Science Task Force. 

The Task Force and its workgroups will be multi-disciplinary and include experts in chemistry, microbiology, and food and agricultural testing methods. Its members will include state agencies and cannabis lab industry representatives. Washington agencies required to participate in the Task Force are:
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Ecology
  • Department of Health
  • Liquor and Cannabis Board
Laboratory standards

As identified in our report to the Legislature, cannabis laboratory standards don’t yet exist. The Task Force and its workgroups will develop those standards or adapt appropriate science-based analytical methods, method validation protocols, performance criteria, proficiency testing, and homogenization procedures for testing cannabis and cannabis products.

 

Areas of focus

Policy updates for new lab standards

Prior to new laboratory standards being adopted and accreditation transferred to Ecology, several state policies will need to be updated and rulemaking will take place.

Maintain the current private accreditation

Ecology and the Liquor and Cannabis Board will need make changes to WACs and engage in rulemaking. While this takes place, the existing private accreditation provider that is contracted by the Liquor and Cannabis Board will continue accrediting labs.

Designate Ecology’s Laboratory Accreditation Unit

Once statutory requirements have been met and WACs and rules have been updated, our Laboratory Accreditation Unit will become the accreditation body for Washington cannabis testing labs.

Laboratories would be evaluated using our Laboratory Accreditation Units’ accreditation framework and revised cannabis-specific laboratory quality standards.

If you’d like to stay informed about cannabis lab accreditation, please sign up for our cannabis lab email list.