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WIRE: Steep Hill releases open letter to Washington cannabis community

Steep Hill logo (PRNewsFoto/Steep Hill)

BERKELEY, Calif. — Today, Steep Hill released an Open Letter to the Washington State Cannabis Community encouraging a call to action to prevent contaminated cannabis from entering the patient and consumer supply chain.

In issuing the Open Letter, Steep Hill CEO Jmîchaeĺe Keller said, “In a recent third party audit of certified i502 laboratories in Washington State, cannabis contaminated with pesticides and microbiological organisms like E. coli are being passed by certain disreputable labs, which means unsafe products are getting onto shelves.  This is unacceptable when technology and the proper science are in place to insure safety to prevent health risk to consumers and patients.”

Steep Hill stands with other leading labs in the industry, like Trace Analytics, who apply scientific best practices to put public health first. “Together we are here to uphold standards of quality in this industry for consumer protection, and we cannot succeed if other laboratories cheat the system,” said Keller.

Keller emphasized, “We will continue to work with State regulators to clamp down on labs who focus more on profits than safety, and we ask you to raise your voice with us as we demand enforcement of uniform testing standards for consumer protection.”

For more information on this important call to action, the Open Letter is below, or can be found online at


An Open Letter to the Washington State Cannabis Community

Pesticide poisoning can be fatal, as can exposure to microbiological organisms like E. coli or Aspergillus sp. for an immunosuppressed patient. We know that cannabis products sometimes contain these contaminants. Yet some certified laboratories in Washington State have recently been shown to still be approving them for sale. You might ask, how is this possible? Isn’t the State watching over the suppliers and the supply chain? The answer is that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and some labs have been found to have even falsified test results to help their clients get unsafe products to market.

A recent third-party audit of certified i502 laboratories identified Steep Hill as one of the top labs in Washington. While that does make us proud, we don’t view that as a sign of perfection. We are obligated to offer consumers the assurance of knowing that any product tested by Steep Hill is a product that is clean and safe. Proper science requires investment and commitment. Only certain labs have accepted this responsibility – and we’re happy to stand at the forefront of consumer safety alongside other top-notch Washington test labs like Trace Analytics. Together we are here to uphold the highest standards of quality in the cannabis industry – and we can’t all succeed if other laboratories willfully invite contaminated cannabis onto dispensary and recreational market shelves.

At Steep Hill, we’ve put our focus into equipment and processes that provide accuracy and safety in all our testing. When it comes to microbiological contaminants, we choose to use instruments from leading innovators trusted by FDA-approved biotech and pharmaceutical groups who demand the same level of traceability and meticulousness as we do. In the immediate future, an upgrade to our pesticide equipment will ensure that we reach the lowest achievable limits of detection during analysis. From there, we’re going to put pressure on the regulators to clamp down on labs who focus more on profits than consumer safety, and we ask you help raise our collective voices together to demand for consumer safety.

We’re dedicated to preventing any contaminated cannabis from putting any consumer in harm’s way, and we wanted to take the time to tell you that Steep Hill is actively perfecting our expertise, while working with the best partners in the business, to keep you safe.

In safety and health,

Jmîchaeĺe Keller
CEO, Steep Hill Labs


Founded in California in 2008, Steep Hill Labs, Inc. is a science and technology firm that has become the industry leader in cannabis testing and analytics. With labs in five states now, more to launch in 2016, and a joint venture with the University of Technology in Jamaica, Steep Hill is the largest cannabis lab network in the world. The company pioneered the first medical cannabis potency and microbiological contaminants testing methodology for use in California—the first state to legalize medical cannabis. Steep Hill has since developed a variety of revolutionary cannabis testing products, including QuantaCann™, QuantaCann2™ and GenKit™. Steep Hill provides expert consulting services to many states, countries and municipalities, and the company is developing proprietary genetic testing, mapping and trademark protection services for the industry as well.

Contact: Cathie Bennett Warner
cell: 415-420-1573


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