American Association for Laboratory Accreditation

Cannabis Testing Laboratory Accreditation

Preparing for ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation in California? Start with an introductory training course

A2LA offers two accreditation tracks for cannabis testing laboratories. Both offer independent, third-party accreditation assessments crafted to meet both the Medical Marijuana and Recreational Adult Use markets. The first track consists of using ISO/IEC 17025:2005 as the primary framework, along with any additional, state-specific requirements. A2LA also offers an optional second tract, which adds to the first accreditation track the additional accreditation requirements derived from Americans for Safe Access (ASA) Patient Focused Certification (PFC) Program for testing laboratories. In this way, A2LA is able to provide assurance that all state regulatory as well as industry-specific requirements are being met by the laboratory.

Users of cannabis products depend on testing to ensure that the products are safe for use/consumption and that the labeled potency can be trusted. Proper testing is imperative to this assurance, and confidence in the laboratories that perform this testing may be achieved through accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025 Standard.

As noted above, A2LA has partnered with Americans for Safe Access (ASA) to offer a cannabis-specific laboratory accreditation program which is based upon the ISO/IEC 17025 standard and ASA's Patient Focused Certification (PFC) Program Requirements. The PFC Laboratory Operations requirements are constructed upon the "Recommendations to Regulators for Cannabis Operations", which were developed by the Cannabis Committee for the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). An assessment to these additional requirements is voluntary. The ASA PFC laboratory requirements include additional items related to security, personnel training, sample receipt, handling and disposal, and data review. For more information on ASA's PFC program, please visit their website.

A2LA accreditation may include testing on any cannabis or cannabis-derived products, such as flower, concentrates, butter/waxes, drinks, tinctures, hash oil, edibles and more. Also included are hemp products such as a hemp and hemp oils.

Specific testing may include but is certainly not limited to:

  • Cannabinoid testing & content (CBC, CBD, CBDa, CBG, CBN, THC, THCa, THCv, etc.)
  • Pesticides/fungicides/plant growth regulators
  • Residual solvents
  • Microbiological contaminants (mold, insects, bacteria, etc.)

Depending on the testing performed by the laboratory, accreditation may be granted within the established A2LA Chemical or Biological field of testing. Laboratories interested in applying to A2LA for accreditation of their cannabis testing activities are invited to visit our Chemical and/or Biological field pages, where all information and documentation related to the application and accreditation process may be accessed.

Any questions regarding A2LA’s program for the accreditation of cannabis testing laboratories may be directed to the individuals listed at the right.

Additional Resources

A2LA offers regular training sessions, both publicly and at customer sites, for ISO/IEC 17025. Interested? Please inquire with A2LA's Senior Director of Training Services, Tim Osborne, at 301 644 3235 or Training@A2LA.org regarding dates and pricing. You may also visit A2LA's Training Page for more details and for our Course Schedule.

If you are interested in hiring a consultant to assist your laboratory in preparing for accreditation, please contact Kelsey Roberts, A2LA Marketing and Business Development Manager, at 240 575 7499 or kroberts@A2LA.org.