Testing Lab Drama Persists in Washington

testing lab
Written by Cara Wietstock

Issues continue to plague the Washington testing lab community.

A report published by the NCV Newswire in early 2016 blew the lid off of Washington’s testing lab world. In this report, Jim MacRae informed the public that there was gross negligence happening in a majority of state-certified testing labs. In this article, MacRae reported that of fourteen certified state labs four did not fail one specimen for contaminants. Five of these labs did not fail one specimen for residual solvents. During this same three-month time period, two Washington testing labs failed 44% or their samples for microbial contamination.

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What this data suggested was that state-certified testing labs weren’t doing their due diligence for the sake of the public. Instead, it seemed that clients (dispensaries, growers, etc.) who purchased the services of these testing labs were guaranteed passing scores. This inspired the heavy hitters in the testing lab world to urge the Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) to tighten up their enforcement.


A letter published in late March leads us to believe that the problems in Washington state may persist. The letter was written by the Cannabis Alliance. It lays out that the Alliance believes there is evidence of a testing lab inflating their potency test results. This letter is in reference to a claim that state certified testing lab Peak Analytics is using methodology outside of those listed in the Cannabis Inflorescence and Leaf monograph as dictated by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.


It is unknown whether this is just conjecture in an industry of egos fighting to position themselves or if it is standing on a foundation of an actual violation.  Either way, it is important to lobby for accurate test results. It is also important that we work together to set standards and methods that have been proven to work. This is the only way that the public can trust what they’re getting at dispensaries. And this is the only way that the cannabis industry can be long-lasting. 

About the author

Cara Wietstock

Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the plant have brought her to Terpenes and Testing magazine. She now helps keep us on the cutting edge of scientific cannabis discovery as the Editor-in-Chief of the print publication.

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