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.