Cannabis lab accreditation project

The Cannabis Science Task Force is working toward improving laboratory quality standards for cannabis labs in Washington. This work is essential for future rulemaking on cannabis lab accreditation. The first report from this task force was in 2020, and the next is due to the Legislature in Dec. 2021, and should be available to the public at that time.

Recommending laboratory quality standards

The legalization of cannabis use in Washington resulted in cannabis products becoming available throughout the state. To ensure consumers are purchasing products that meet required quality standards and that are accurately labeled, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board and the state Department of Health require products to be tested by an accredited cannabis laboratory. 

However, because cannabis is not legal federally, there are no federal cannabis laboratory quality standards for states to adopt. There are no mandated methods, either, as there are for drinking water, soil, or grain, for example. This leaves cannabis producers, retailers, and consumers missing an extra layer of quality assurance.

Task force and workgroups

Over the past two years, the Cannabis Science Task Force has been working to recommend laboratory quality standards in preparation for a rulemaking process to change the way cannabis-testing labs are accredited in Washington. The task force's goal is to provide a solid framework for credible cannabis laboratory accreditation in the future.

Specialized workgroups, including for potency, proficiency testing, and various contamininants, have been collaborating to produce preliminary recommendations for laboratory quality standards for the next report to the Legislature. These groups will continue to collaborate on standards through Feb. 2022, unless work is completed earlier.

Reports and recommendations

The next task force report will be finalized in Dec. 2021. Sign up for our listserv to be informed when the report is available.