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AOAC International Partners with Signature Science for Cannabis Proficiency Testing Program

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: May 11, 2022   
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AOAC International has partnered with Signature Science as its test material provider for AOAC’s new Cannabis/Hemp Proficiency Testing Program.

In launching this program, AOAC will become the only proficiency testing provider offering actual >0.3% THC cannabis/hemp flower as a matrix.

Samples in the program can also be analyzed for cannabinoids, terpenes, moisture, heavy metals, mycotoxins, and pesticide residues.

The independent laboratory standards organization’s new proficiency testing program was developed by stakeholders, including state regulatory laboratories, industry laboratories, state and federal agencies, as well as national and international accrediting bodies through the AOAC Cannabis Analytical Science Program (CASP).

“AOAC has a long history of bringing scientists together to address emerging topics, so when stakeholders came to AOAC with their concerns and need for quality proficiency testing in the cannabis industry, AOAC acted,” Shane Flynn, senior director of AOAC’s Laboratory Proficiency Testing Program, said in a statement.

“Stakeholders noted the analytical differences in testing cannabis versus hemp and had specific concerns around it and asked for a program that would provide actual cannabis samples in addition to hemp. This is truly a program that was created by the stakeholders, for the stakeholders.”

Signature Science is a scientific consulting and services firm that provides science-related technical solutions. The firm is also an ISO/IEC 17043 accredited proficiency test provider and holds specialized licenses that allow it to legally purchase, store, and handle cannabis and hemp testing materials.

“We are excited to embark on this partnership with AOAC,” Danielle Lenoir, quality assurance chemist and project manager, said in a statement.

“AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a leader in the field of food and environmental safety, and we look forward to contributing our core quality assurance capabilities to the joint venture into a new and rapidly growing industry.”

The pilot round (hemp only-samples) of the proficiency testing program will include 20 laboratories and samples will be shipped in early May 2022. The first live round, which will offer participants the choice of >0.3% THC cannabis or hemp samples, is scheduled for November 2022. To enroll, or to learn more about a an AOAC Cannabis or Hemp PT Program contact staff at Cannabis_PT@AOAC.org


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