WA Senate LBRC - Committee Meeting - Morning
(March 19, 2019) - HB 2052

The Senate Labor and Commerce Committee hosted a public hearing on HB 2052 – “Clarifying marijuana product testing by revising provisions concerning marijuana testing laboratory accreditation and establishing a cannabis science task force”

  • Details on HB 2052's House policy committee public hearing and executive session, and the House fiscal committee public hearing and executive session. HB 2052 was passed by the full House on March 6th without amendments.
  • Richard Rogers briefed senators on the bill’s proposed effects (audio – 1m, video). From the Senate Bill Report:
    • Transfers authority and responsibility for marijuana product testing laboratory accreditation requirements to the Department of Ecology (DOE), from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, effective July 1, 2022.
    • Requires DOE to determine, assess, and collect an annual fee to cover the direct and indirect costs of implementing the marijuana product testing laboratory accreditation program, subject to requirements.
    • Establishes the Cannabis Science Task Force (task force) to collaborate on the development of appropriate laboratory quality standards and to establish a work group on proficiency testing and another work group on laboratory quality standards.
    • Requires the task force to submit a report to the Legislature by December 2020, with findings and recommendations for laboratory quality standards for cannabis testing laboratories.
  • Carol Smith, Environmental Assessment Program Manager with the Department of Ecology (DOE), testified that her department was “in support of transitioning lab accreditation responsibilities” to DOE, but against the bill primarily due to its swift timeline. Citing “significant gaps in the existing lab accreditation system for cannabis” she predicted filling those gaps would take longer than the bill allotted. She praised the bill’s proposed task force, but cautioned that without her department’s suggested changes the state could potentially “cut corners on addressing these gaps” and “put the health and safety of consumers at risk” (audio – 1m, video).
  • Al Ralston, lobbying on behalf of the Cannabis Alliance, commended the legislation and said his group had helped develop it out of concern for “public safety” (audio – 1m, video).
  • Kyle Capizzi, co-chair of the Cannabis Alliance’s Science and Standards committee, said the group determined “changing standards for the labs was one area of risk.” He argued DOE control over accreditation and a stakeholder task force were important improvements (audio – 1m, video).
  • Nick Mosely, a Cannabis Alliance Board Member, spoke to the need for a “vital, ethical, and sustainable” cannabis industry, and that HB 2052 protects the industry from a “public health” and “judicial” standpoint. He called it a rational “revamping” of the program that balanced “expediency with thoroughness and thoughtfulness” (audio – 1m, video).
  • Jedidiah Haney, Executive Director of the Laboratory Guild, said he represented five accredited labs on the issue. Haney stated, “This bill passed the house with almost unanimous support, we have been working with [DOE and WSLCB] on this timeline discussion.” He added that longer timelines extended the costs, which he feared would get pushed onto labs and producers or processors (audio – 1m, video).
  • Jeff Doughty, Laboratory Guild president and CEO of Capitol Analysis, said the bill mattered because “honest businesses are currently suffering.” He said they’d support the bill even with a longer timeline, but were eager to work with agencies without cutting corners despite concerns about “implementation costs” (audio – 1m, video).
  • Chris Thompson said WSLCB supported both the bill and DOE’s request for a longer timeline (audio – 1m, video).
  • Seth Dawson, representing the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention (WASAVP), said he supported the bill because it got WSLCB “out of the labs and into the field” (audio – 1m, video).
  • Chair Keiser noted that three people signed in to support the bill without testifying.