The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) which oversees adult-use cannabis in the state, voted unanimously to approve new regulations for quality control of adult-use cannabis. Adding to existing laboratory test requirements for cannabis products, the WSLCB will now require pesticide testing. The new quality control rules become effective April 2nd after more than 3 years of consideration and deliberation in public hearings. Upon enactment, the rules stipulate that a sample from every batch of inhalable cannabis product produced in the state must be submitted to an independent laboratory and analyzed for pesticides before it can be sold at retail dispensaries. Batches that fail the test must be destroyed. This new rule will address the concern noted by industry watchdogs, and demonstrated by secret shopper results, that more than 1 in 5 cannabis products on the shelf today would fail a pesticide test by a quality assurance laboratory.
Confidence Analytics, Inc. a Redmond, WA-based state-certified testing lab, published a white paper last month. In it, CEO Nick Mosely stated, "the cannabis quality control rule revisions will have dramatic effects on the 502 Industry. Every level of the supply chain will be impacted. The economic implications will lead to market disruptions and realignments, creating winners and losers. Proactive assessment of product supply and procurement policies through the lens of pesticide testing is now more important than ever before. Taking proactive measures before the rules are enacted may make the difference between coming out ahead, or not." Review the full white paper here: "Pesticide Testing in Washington State - A White Paper."
In addition to the pesticide testing rules adopted by the WSLCB today, this winter the state legislature is considering a handful of bills that would impact cannabis product testing. Specifically, House Bill 1859 would overhaul the laboratory accreditation program and standards for cannabis labs, and Senate Bill 5983 would create new authority for the WSLCB to regulate cannabis-derived chemicals other than THC and CBD.
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