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Cannabis Labs in Washington Will Soon Be Required to Test For Pesticides

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Mar 03, 2022   
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Cannabis testing labs in Washington will soon be required to test for pesticides.

Following the approval of a new state rule, all cannabis products tested and sold in the west coast state must be tested for pesticides from April 2.

The new rule will also permit the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) to conduct random tests of cannabis products for heavy metals.

The long-mooted rule was passed on March 2 following a meeting of the WSLCB.

“These rules reflect years of hard work and engagement between LCB staff, licensees and labs,” WSLCB Chair David Postman said in a statement. 

“Testing for pesticides and heavy metals adds a deeper layer of confidence for consumers that these products are free of chemical or biological residuals.”

Hitherto, Washington was the only US state with legal adult-use cannabis access not to require the testing of pesticides and heavy metals.

During the new rule’s public comment period – which lasted for over two years – many cultivators raised concerns that the testing requirements would add unwanted costs.

Indeed, in a white paper on the topic published last month, Confidence Analytics, a Seattle-based cannabis testing lab, noted that “the cannabis quality control rule revisions anticipated for April 2nd will have dramatic effects on the Industry.”

“Every level of the supply chain will be impacted. The economic implications, if enacted, will likely lead to market disruptions and realignments, creating winners and losers. Proactive assessment of product supply and procurement policies through the lense [sic] of pesticide testing is now more important than ever before.”

Although the new requirements come into effect on April 2, the WSLCB has said it will allow a transitional period, wherein untested cannabis products may be sold and distributed for a period of time to be determined by the board.


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