The Importance of Being Earnest

Suspiciously low failure rates have earned a Washington-based cannabis testing lab a suspension

August 2017

Following an audit, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board has suspended certification of Peak Analytics, a cannabis testing laboratory in Bellingham, Washington, USA.

The suspension came after a complaint about an unusually low rate of failures for microbial contamination in samples sent to the lab, according to the Seattle Times (1). An analysis of results over a three month period revealed that while the average microbial failure rate for certified labs in the state was 11 percent, Peak Analytics recorded a rate of 1.69 percent.

Data analyst Jim MacCrae has drawn attention to discrepancies in potency and failure rates of different labs in the state (2), and suggests that the labs with the highest potency and lowest failure rates get more business. Another Washington lab, Testing Technologies, was suspended last year for failure to follow good laboratory practices, but has since been recertified.

Peak Analytics released a statement explaining that it is addressing the issues and has submitted a microbial validation study for technical review, going on to say, “The current circumstance are being viewed as an opportunity to improve and build on our operating procedures”.

Auditors RJ Lee Group recommend that the lab’s certification be renewed once the concerns have been addressed.

Many states are tightening legislation for cannabis testing labs – read more in our interview with lab assessor Susan Audino.

References

  1. R Young, “Bellingham pot lab Peak Analytics suspended after auditors question testing practices”. Available at:  http://bit.ly/2fpeyL9. Accessed on 8 August 2017. 
  2.  J MacCrae, “Labbiness in Washington Labs: Where is truthiness when you need it?”. Available at: bit.ly/2ukvc0S. Accessed on 8 August 2017.