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Cannabis Science Task Force Recommendations: Cannabis Laboratory Quality Standards and Proficiency Testing

Publication number Date Published
21-03-003December 2021
VIEW NOW Cannabis Science Task Force Recommendations: Cannabis Laboratory Quality Standards and Proficiency Testing (Number of pages: 414) (Publication Size: 7537KB)

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Author(s) Sara Sekerak
Description The legalization of cannabis use in Washington resulted in the availability of cannabis products throughout the state. Although cannabis products are required to be tested for harmful substances and potency, the science needed to develop adequate testing protocols has not caught up to the industry. The absence of a central scientific authority to develop and maintain cannabis-specific testing protocols and scientific processes has resulted in disparate and varied protocols and practices. It is crucial to establish and maintain science based processes to generate reliable data to support policy decisions and to maintain public trust.

This is the second report from the Cannabis Science Task Force (CSTF), a multi-agency and industry scientific collaboration team. The first report in 2020 recommended pesticide-testing standards and identified the need for an Interagency Cooperative Team (ICT) to lead further work.

In this second legislative report, the CSTF provides comprehensive recommendations for additional laboratory quality standards covering potency, heavy metals, and residual solvents. Companion recommendations address ICT roles and responsibilities needed to provide initial and ongoing oversight and guidance for adopting laboratory quality standards and an in-state Cannabis Matrix Proficiency Testing Program. Finally, robust recommendations for developing this Proficiency Testing Program, including the identification of critical cannabis matrix proficiency testing samples, are presented. The in-state cannabis matrix proficiency testing pathway is critical to (1) ensure consumer protections and (2) meet the accreditation conventions needed to facilitate Ecology’s accreditation model, as directed in RCW 43.21A.736.
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Keywords cannabis, sample processing, sample collection, microbiology, QA QC, marijuana, science standards, Legislative Report, lab analysis, product testing, standard operating procedures, labeling, legislative, sampling, metals, pesticides, legislative report, quality assurance, lab, laboratory, laboratory accreditation, agriculture, laboratory quality standards, Cannabis Science Task Force, potency
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