Washington State Regulators Adopt Pesticide Testing for Cannabis

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has adopted pesticide testing mandates for cannabis products sold in the state.

Full story after the jump.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) has adopted final rules mandating all cannabis products sold in the state undergo pesticide tests, according to an agency press release. Effective April 2, the rules call for random heavy metal tests or, during an investigation, some time will be given for products to “sell-through.”

“These rules reflect years of hard work and engagement between LCB staff, licensees, and labs,” said Board Chair David Postman. “Testing for pesticides and heavy metals adds a deeper layer of confidence for consumers that these products are free of chemical or biological residuals.”

The press release notes heavy metals can be present in the environment for a variety of reasons like mining operations, industrial waste, automotive emissions, and farm or household water run-off. The agency said that the pesticides allowed on cannabis are “generally mild and considered safe for human consumption.”

If unapproved pesticides are found, the LCB has contracted with the state Department of Agriculture to conduct ad hoc tests for “investigational and enforcement purposes.” The board will convene a workgroup made up of legislators, industry members, labs, public health and prevention representatives, and consumers to determine the effectiveness of the new rules.

Washington tests medical cannabis under its Department of Health certification program, but only four producers and processors in the entire state undergo the more rigorous pesticide and heavy metal test required to qualify for the program.

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