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.
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.
As more and more states across America legalize cannabis, it is important to ensure that the public can be confident in the end product that they use. A2LA is engaged in ensuring quality and compliance in this industry, as evidenced by our ever-growing presence in industry groups, influence on state regulations, strategic partnerships, and the educational content we provide in-person and online. Anna Williams, an Accreditation Supervisor at A2LA, interviewed Timothy Schnupp, Laboratory Director for Pinnacle CT Labs in Westminster, Maryland, in order to understand how they are combating the vaping crisis by providing ISO/IEC 17025 accredited testing for vitamin E acetate.
We are excited to announce that the A2LA Technical Forum will be returning in 2021 to bring you the quality informative content, industry news, and networking opportunities you have come to rely on from this unique event. Not only will the Tech Forum resume next year, but for the first time ever, we will be implementing a theme chosen by our staff to add some fun and levity to our programming. Join us August 1st-4th 2021 as we “Surf into Compliance!”
The A2LA-accredited Demeter Laboratory was recently awarded a unique contract as part of Oklahoma’s comprehensive plan to ensure uniform quality in medical cannabis products. In 2019 Demeter was the first medical cannabis laboratory in the state of Oklahoma to be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by A2LA, distinguishing them as an industry leader in the state and affirming the capabilities and competency of their laboratory. Now, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) has contracted Demeter Laboratory to evaluate all other cannabis labs in the state for their adherence to OMMA rules and regulations, and to conduct secondary testing on products submitted to other labs. As part of this contract, Demeter will no longer provide commercial testing of cannabis products, and will dedicate their facility and staff exclusively to OMMA’s quality assurance program.
A2LA is pleased to announce the accreditation of ECC Test Lab to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for cannabis testing. East Coast Cannalytics (dba ECC Test Lab), based in Blacksburg, VA, is the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited to the standard in the state by A2LA.
On August 18th, 2020 A2LA granted ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation to MEMP Service Corporation (Molecular Environmental Monitoring Provider). MEMP Service Corp. sought accreditation to this standard as part of the development of their cutting-edge new mobile molecular environmental monitoring services. This mobile biosurveilance solution allows MEMP to deploy an on-site molecular testing laboratory to any location and provide test results in four hours or less for a wide variety of microbial pathogens and other molecular targets.
A2LA is pleased to announce the accreditation of Trichome Analytical to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for cannabis testing. Trichome, based in Mount Laurel, NJ, is the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited to the standard in the state.
The A2LA-accredited Cornell Veterinary Biobank was recently awarded a $2.5 million grant by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to study aging in dogs, an effort that will also inform the study of aging in humans. According to an article from Cornell, their biobank was selected for the Dog Aging Project grant due in part to their ISO 20387 accreditation, granted in 2019 by A2LA. Cornell remains the only veterinary biobank in the world accredited to this relatively new standard.