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Quality assurance sampling protocols.

(1) To ensure quality assurance samples submitted to certified third-party laboratories (certified labs) are representative from the lot or batch from which they were sampled as required in RCW 69.50.348, licensed producers, licensed processors, certified labs, and their employees must adhere to the minimum sampling protocols as provided in this section.
(2) Sampling protocols for all marijuana product lots and batches:
(a) Samples must be deducted in a way that is most representative of the lot or batch and maintains the structure of the marijuana sample. Licensees, certified labs, and their employees may not adulterate or change in any way the representative sample from a lot or batch before submitting the sample to certified labs. This includes adulterating or changing the sample in any way as to inflate the level of potency, or to hide any microbiological contaminants from the required microbiological screening such as, but not limited to:
(i) Adulterating the sample with kief, concentrates, or other extracts;
(ii) Treating a sample with solvents to hide the microbial count of the lot or batch from which it was deducted. This subsection does not prohibit the treatment of failed lots or batches with methods approved by the WSLCB; or
(iii) Pregrinding a flower lot sample.
(b) All samples must be taken in a sanitary environment using sanitary practices and ensure facilities are constructed, kept, and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition in accordance with rules and as prescribed by the Washington state department of agriculture under chapters 16-165 and 16-167 WAC.
(c) Persons collecting samples must wash their hands prior to collecting a sample from a lot or batch, wear appropriate gloves while preparing or deducting the lot or batch for sample collection, and must use sanitary utensils and storage devices when collecting samples.
(d) Samples must be placed in a sanitary plastic or glass container, and stored in a location that prevents the propagation of pathogens and other contaminants, such as a secure, low-light, cool and dry location.
(e) The licensee must maintain the lot or batch from which the sample was deducted in a secure, low-light, cool, and dry location to prevent the marijuana from becoming contaminated or losing its efficacy.
(f) Each quality assurance sample must be clearly marked "quality assurance sample" and be labeled with the following information:
(i) The sixteen digit identification number generated by the traceability system;
(ii) The license number and name of the certified lab receiving the sample;
(iii) The license number and trade name of the licensee sending the sample;
(iv) The date the sample was collected; and
(v) The weight of the sample.
(3) Additional sampling protocols for flower lots:
(a) Licensees or certified labs must collect a minimum of four separate samples from each marijuana flower lot up to five pounds. Licensees or certified labs may collect more samples than this minimum, but must not collect less. The samples must be of roughly equal weight not less than one gram each.
(b) The four separate samples must be taken from different quadrants of the flower lot. A quadrant is the division of a lot into four equal parts. Dividing a lot into quadrants prior to collecting samples must be done in a manner that ensures the samples are collected from four evenly distributed areas of the flower lot and may be done visually or physically.
(c) The four samples may be placed together in one container conforming to the packaging and labeling requirements in subsection (2) of this section for storage and transfer to a certified lab.
(4) Certified labs may retrieve samples from a marijuana licensee's licensed premises and transport the samples directly to the lab. Certified labs may also return any unused portion of the samples.
(5) Certified labs may reject or fail a sample if the lab has reason to believe the sample was not collected in the manner required by this section, adulterated in any way, contaminated with known or unknown solvents, or manipulated in a manner that violates the sampling protocols, limit tests, or action levels.
(6) The WSLCB or its designee will take immediate disciplinary action against any licensee or certified lab that fails to comply with the provisions of this section or falsifies records related to this section including, without limitation, revoking the license the licensed producer or processor, or certification of the certified lab.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 69.50.342 and 69.50.345. WSR 17-12-032, § 314-55-101, filed 5/31/17, effective 8/31/17; WSR 16-11-110, § 314-55-101, filed 5/18/16, effective 6/18/16.]
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