New testing lab in Yakima will help catch illegal pesticides on marijuana
Those in the cannabis community who feel that all cannabis is safe, you're wrong.
The state of Washington requires testing for mold and bacteria, but never for illegal pesticides -- until now.
A new lab will now help reduce pesticides from entering the marketplace.
"Its consumer safety we want to make sure that the products that are being grown in the state of Washington and are ending up with the consumer are safe," said Department of Agriculture assistant to the director Ignacio Marquez.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is paying the Washington State Department of Agriculture about $1.1 million to test for pesticides in this Yakima lab.
Two WSDA employees will be dedicated to testing around 75 samples a month.
Each sample will be analyzed for 100 or more pesticides to determine if the product is healthy.
"The liquor board is doing more of a complaint driven checking on these producers," added Marquez.
The Washington state liquor and cannabis board reports 1722 marijuana producers with a total of 74 in Yakima County
WSDA will test the products based on a list that they came up with along with the environmental protection agency.
They’ve determined that about 330 products are reasonable to apply on marijuana, a list that they've shared with the industry.
"Those that are outside that list if it shows up on the testing then we will take enforcement actions," said Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board deputy director Peter Antolin.
The first of its kind agreement that state officials said will help the industry be mindful of how they grow marijuana.
"We felt that we had to take a proactive approach to try to again ensure that we have a healthy product reach the consumer," added Antolin.
WSDA will report results to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board 15 to 30-days after delivery of testing samples.
Anyone with three violations within a two-year period will risk losing their license.
We did reach out to happy times in Yakima to see how they feel about the new testing---and they said it's a great way for them to keep fresh product on the market.
It's also a way for them to sell quicker as they will be able to get faster results.