Capitol Analysis, one of Washington State's leading cannabis testing labs, is launching a data-driven Lab Transparency Project, an effort to improve the accuracy of cannabis testing results in the state through transparency and a new third-party auditing process.
The action comes in response to a new report issued by Straight Line Analytics, using data provided by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, which points to ongoing inconsistencies and possible foul play across labs testing cannabis in Washington State.
The report indicates that some producer/processors have participated in "lab-shopping" - a process in which companies send samples to several labs in search of the most favorable results, namely high potency and/or low quality assurance fail rates. The report shows that businesses that pay for the highest number of lab tests achieve, on average, reported potency levels 2.71% higher than do those that pay for the lowest number of lab tests. The new report shows that in return, labs that provide the highest total cannabinoid results to certain producer/processors tend to gain the most market share.
This practice undercuts the business of ethical I502 companies and ultimately compromises consumer safety. This is what spurred Capitol Analysis into action.
"Lab shopping shouldn't exist, because it is a symptom of lab variability," said Jeff Doughty, President of Capitol Analysis. "We already have standards that should prevent variations in lab results and proficiency testing that shows that the labs are capable of doing the testing. But problems arise when the auditors aren't looking. Therefore, we're creating the Lab Transparency Project to contribute to honesty and transparency in the testing industry."
Dr. MacRae said, "I applaud Capitol Analysis for committing to this effort. With the state's new traceability system up and running following a 4-month breakdown, the time for openness and transparency is now."
Dr. MacRae has been at the forefront of data analysis of Washington's legal cannabis industry. He will continue to contribute unbiased summaries of lab data and ongoing lab audits to the Lab Transparency Project that will help keep the industry in check.
Doughty intends to form a coalition of labs dedicated to openness, transparency and adherence to the highest lab standards and industry best practices to create a more accurate and fair testing environment in Washington state.