Regulators Issue Emergency Suspension of Cannabis Testing Lab’s License

In a move that highlights the controversy around potency obsession and lab-shopping, Washington state regulators have issued an emergency suspension of a cannabis testing lab’s license alleging the lab had submitted “incorrect and/or false” test results to its clients and the government.

Full story after the jump.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) announced this week that they are issuing an Emergency Suspension of the certification for cannabis testing laboratory True Northwest Inc, located in Olympia.

The LCB has determined that True Northwest no longer meets the stringent criteria required for certification under state regulations. The lab’s troubles began when it failed to submit an acceptable corrective action report following a deficiency report. Subsequently, during a laboratory assessment and proficiency testing, multiple serious deficiencies were identified, raising concerns about the quality and accuracy of its testing procedures.

Among the issues cited were the absence of a lab director on staff, scales that were not properly calibrated, and the issuance of incorrect test results to both licensees and the general public. As a result of this suspension, True Northwest’s certification will remain suspended for 180 days, during which time the Board will seek the revocation of the lab’s certification.

According to the LCB, the investigation into True Northwest’s operations began in September 2023 when the LCB received documentation indicating that the lab was providing inaccurate quality assurance and quality control test results. Despite being aware of these deficiencies, the lab continued to submit “inaccurate and/or false” test results to the LCB and its clients.

On September 19, 2023, a third-party lab certification monitor, RJ Lee, confirmed to the LCB that True Northwest was not in compliance with proficiency testing standards and had failed proficiency tests on two separate occasions, raising serious questions about its testing accuracy.

Subsequent inspections in early October revealed further problems. On October 4, 2023, the LCB was notified that True Northwest no longer had a lab director on-site, a clear violation of certification requirements. An audit conducted on October 9, 2023, uncovered multiple deficiencies, including five critical ones that posed a “significant public safety concern.”

As a result of these findings, the LCB placed True Northwest on administrative hold on October 11, 2023, prohibiting the lab from receiving or conducting any further quality assurance testing. Finally, on October 25, 2023, the LCB approved the emergency suspension of True Northwest’s certification.

This development underscores the importance of adhering to rigorous standards and regulations in the cannabis industry to maintain the trust and safety of both consumers and the public.

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