Cannabis lab accreditation project

The Cannabis Science Task Force is working to improve laboratory quality standards for cannabis labs in Washington. This work is essential for future rulemaking on cannabis lab accreditation.

New Task Force Report

The new Cannabis Science Task Force Recommendations: Cannabis Laboratory Quality Standards and Proficiency Testing report offers comprehensive recommendations for additional laboratory quality standards covering potency, heavy metals, and residual solvents. Companion recommendations address roles and responsibilities that will be needed to provide initial and ongoing oversight and guidance for adopting laboratory quality standards and an in-state Cannabis Matrix Proficiency Testing Program. 

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 rulemaking 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.

Specialized workgroups — including for potency, proficiency testing, and various contaminants — 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

Legislative reports and Cannabis Science Task Force meeting materials are available.