OLYMPIA — Washington legislators want the state’s liquor control agency out of the business of ensuring the safety of cannabis crops produced here.

The House voted last month and the Senate followed up this week to approve a bill removing the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s authority to certify cannabis testing labs. Those are the private commercial labs that determine whether Washington-grown marijuana crops meet standards for safety and potency. 

Under law, labs must test for contaminants, pesticides and dangerous bacteria before cannabis can be sold. In 2016, auditors found some of those labs were using flawed methods, conspiring with growers, and faking test results.

Among other steps, House Bill 2052 would transfer accreditation of cannabis labs to the Department of Ecology, starting in the next two to four years. Although the bill has passed both chambers by huge margins, its differing versions have to be reconciled and pass again before it can be signed into law. 

The state legislative session is scheduled to end April 28.

Jefferson Robbins: 679-7013