WA regulators to hear public comment on cannabis pesticide testing rules

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Cannabis regulators in Washington state are holding a digital public hearing at 10 a.m. PT Wednesday to collect comments from stakeholders about proposed rules that would require the addition of pesticide and heavy-metal testing for all marijuana products produced, processed and sold in the market.

The state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is proposing to increase the sample lot size of flower to be tested from 5 pounds to 10, with pesticide testing of 10-pound lots beginning in August 2021 and heavy-metal testing of 10-pound lots starting in February 2022.

According to an LCB study, the agency estimates it will cost producers and processors $3,450 per month, or $41,400 annually, to comply with the new rules.

A state industry group, the Washington Sungrowers Industry Association, claims the costs are estimated at $400 per test.

“WSIA is supportive of testing for illegal and disallowed pesticides, however, we believe it should be completed at the farm level using third parties rather than self-selected samples from arbitrarily lot sizes,” the group said in a news release.

The Wednesday meeting will be the second hearing on the topic. A July 8 meeting took public comments, and regulators made subsequent revisions.

“Current testing requirements for recreational marijuana are intended to ensure that products for sale are safe and have accurate potency levels,” the LCB noted in a release.

“However, Washington state recreational marijuana products are not required to be tested for pesticides and heavy metals, and although not precluded from doing so, many producers and processors do not test for either.”

Anyone interested in commenting can find more details here.