LCB Issues Emergency Suspension of Cannabis Testing Lab, True Northwest Inc.

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Oct. 25, 2023

LCB Issues Emergency Suspension of Cannabis Testing Lab, True Northwest Inc.


OLYMPIA, WA: The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), on Tues. Oct. 24, issued an Emergency Suspension of the certification for cannabis testing laboratory True Northwest Inc.


The LCB determined that True Northwest no longer meets the criteria to hold certification under state requirements (WAC 314-55-0995 and/or WAC 314-55-1035). The lab failed to submit an acceptable corrective action report in response to a deficiency report. In addition, there were multiple serious deficiencies found during a laboratory assessment and proficiency testing.


True Northwest Inc. located at 4139 Libby Rd. NE in Olympia, WA, originally held a certification to conduct quality assurance testing on cannabis and cannabis products in Washington State.


The Emergency Suspension was based on the lab’s failure to meet accreditation requirements such as not having a lab director on staff, scales that were not calibrated true and issuing incorrect test results to licensees and the public. True Northwest’s certification is suspended for 180 days, during which time the Board will seek revocation of their certification.


Investigation Background

Sept., 2023. LCB received documentation from True Northwest that suggested the lab was providing inaccurate quality assurance and quality control test results. Despite being aware of deficiencies, the lab continued to submit inaccurate and/or false test results to the LCB and the lab’s clients.


Sept.19, 2023. Third-party, lab certification monitor RJ Lee confirmed to LCB that True Northwest was out of compliance regarding proficiency testing and had failed proficiency tests on June 16, 2022 and May 23, 2023.


Oct. 4, 2023. LCB was notified that True Northwest no longer had a lab director on site, a violation of certification requirements.


Oct. 9, 2023. LCB and RJ Lee group conducted an audit at True Northwest. During the audit multiple deficiencies were found including five that were critical and posed a significant public safety concern.


Oct. 11, 2023. LCB places the lab on administrative hold prohibiting any further receipt or new tests or conducting any further quality assurance testing.


Oct. 25, 2023. The Board of the LCB approves an emergency suspension of True Northwest.


The LCB educates licensees to reach compliance and enforces Washington’s liquor, cannabis, tobacco, and vapor laws and regulations. The LCB is mandated to ensure that licensees in Washington State follow state laws and regulations. When licensees fail to comply with state law, the Board may take action including suspensions or revocations to ensure public health and safety. Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the LCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable, and legal.