The A2LA blog is a resource for information related to the accreditation industry, international standards, the role of accreditation in life and business, and A2LA as an organization. It includes informational articles about accreditation concepts, spotlights on A2LA-accredited organizations, and important updates about A2LA and the accreditation industry overall. Our writers and collaborators strive to provide content that is accurate, informative, consistent, and clear to best serve those seeking to learn. Do you have a special request or an idea for a topic? Please contact marketing@A2LA.org.
In many states, regulations require that cannabis testing laboratories be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 in order to operate. This requirement is not ubiquitous, however, and in the absence of federal requirements for cannabis testing, states where cannabis products are legal demonstrate significant variability in how those products are regulated. As a result, many cannabis testing labs have taken it upon themselves to implement quality assurance measures that go beyond the requirements in their state. Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 is a widely recognized indicator of competence within the cannabis testing space, so labs seeking more rigorous quality parameters often voluntarily apply for accreditation through A2LA. Representatives from two such labs: Kristen Goedde of Trichome Analytical in new Jersey, and Jessica Alexander of Land & Seas Laboratory in Alaska, each kindly answered our questions about why they chose to have their laboratories accredited by A2LA, even though it was not mandatory in their respective states.
With the cannabis industry continuing to grow throughout the US, A2LA has dedicated itself to supporting quality in cannabis labs as they work to ensure access to safe, accurately labeled cannabis products. A2LA’s dedicated cannabis accreditation team is involved in industry groups, provides educational content to cannabis labs, and even makes recommendations on new legislation. Each laboratory we accredit has its own unique history and a distinct journey to accreditation, but the value of ISO/IEC 17025 is universal within the cannabis industry. For this Cannabis Customer Q&A, Greg Michaud, CEO of Viridis Laboratories, spoke with us about the value of ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and why Viridis chose A2LA as their accreditation provider.
Although industry conferences are looking very different these days, A2LA has continued to find ways to connect with customers and share information with others in the accreditation industry. For Pittcon 2021, in addition to a virtual booth, A2LA experts will be presenting four different informational sessions throughout the conference. We have identified topics of interest among our customers throughout the last several months and are eager to provide helpful insider perspectives. If you will be virtually attending Pittcon March 8-12th, please join us at any of the following four sessions, or visit our virtual booth for a one-on-one conversation our accreditation professionals.
Effective March 1st, 2021 the Oregon Health Authority has completed “Phase 3 Rulemaking” of the Toxic-Free Kids Act, a law requiring manufacturers of children’s products sold on Oregon to report and ultimately remove certain high priority chemicals of concern for children’s health (HPCCCH). This law is intended to reduce children’s exposure to chemicals of concern and improve scientific understanding of how children may be exposed to such chemicals.
A2LA is pleased to announce the accreditation of Cannalytics, LLC to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for cannabis testing. Cannalytics, based in San Juan, Puerto, was accredited by A2LA in December 2020 and is the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited in Puerto Rico. Cannalytics is led by professionals with extensive laboratory experience in related fields, giving them the skills required to excel in cannabis testing. Owner and Director Jorge H. Diaz, MT (ASCP) and his team pursued accreditation with A2LA to establish themselves as quality leaders in the fast-expanding cannabis industry and to support a safe and consistent medical cannabis supply in Puerto Rico.
A2LA members have elected and approved two new individuals to A2LA’s Board of Directors for terms beginning January 1, 2021. Mike Carter, CEO of Western Energy Support and Technology (WEST), is an accomplished executive with over 29 years of experience in flow measurement and calibration. William Troy, a retired three-star Lieutenant General in the U.S. Army, is former CEO of the American Society for Quality, where he led a $40 million budget for the global, 68,000-member non-profit organization. The Board of Directors has also appointed Robin Stombler, President of Auburn Health Strategies, as its new Vice Chair.
Colorado was among the first states to legalize cannabis products for medical use and the second state to legalize recreational cannabis use for adult use. As a result, Colorado has one of the best-established cannabis infrastructures in the US and boasts many highly trusted cannabis testing laboratories. Del Kreiser, Marketing Manager for Botanacor, kindly spoke with Accreditation Supervisor Anna Williams about their role in the cannabis industry and how accreditation plays a part in their ongoing commitment to quality.
Across every industry and every profession, 2020 has been a year of seismic change and challenging paradigm shifts. Yet amidst the stress of this pandemic there have also been opportunities for problem-solving, innovation, and collaboration. A2LA has needed to dramatically re-imagine the assessment process without sacrificing precision or integrity, which has only been possible because of the close, communicative relationships we maintain with our accredited organizations. Feedback from our customers has helped us develop an effective remote assessment process, which has in turn allowed our customers to keep their accreditation schedules on track and continue operating. This has been a dynamic undertaking, with our customers showing us how to best help them at every turn, and A2LA assessors and accreditation officers have continuously used customer input to shape their responses.
In a sweeping show of popular support, New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota have all voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and Mississippi has voted to legalize marijuana for medical use. In all five states, the decision was made by ballot measure. These five states are only the latest in a massive and relatively rapid nationwide shift in support of marijuana access, leaving Idaho as the only state in the US where no form of cannabis (hemp or marijuana) is legal for any application. These ballot measures are expected to have a significant impact on the cannabis industry in the states where they passed, and to influence cannabis legislation in neighboring states.
A2LA has been granted ASCA (Accreditation Scheme for Conformity Assessment) Recognition by the FDA, making it among the first accreditation bodies accepted as a participant in the ASCA Pilot program. The ASCA Pilot is a cooperative program that relies on participation from accreditation bodies, testing laboratories, medical device manufacturers and FDA staff. Accreditation bodies like A2LA that meet the FDA’s requirements for this new program are granted ASCA Recognition, enabling them to assess testing laboratories seeking ASCA accreditation to perform premarket testing for medical device companies.