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Why ASTM International should be on every cannabis businesses radar

ASTM International’s Committee D37 on Cannabis is comprised of over 1,000 volunteers across 30 countries developing voluntary consensus standards on nearly every aspect of the cannabis industry – from cultivation and processing to security and transportation, as well as sustainability! But, who is ASTM International, and what the heck do they have to do with cannabis? ASTM is a non-profit globally recognized standards development organization (or SDO) that has existed for over 120 years. With over 140 technical committees, ASTM volunteers develop standards for all sorts of industries – from railroads, steel, and other metals, to roofing, oil and gas, aviation, and even exoskeletons!

It is the process in which ASTM’s framework ensures balanced stakeholders are heard in a transparent manner, leading to a consensus standard that sets ASTM apart and provides such value to any industry that come to the table as a technical committee. By leveraging the global recognition of ASTM International’s process, industry experts come together to hash out all of the nitty gritty details of a particular standard. From there, standards become recognized in the marketplace in various ways. For example:

  • Contracts commonly cite ASTM standards to enable the trade of products that meet these established standards. 
  • Standards become what is called “incorporated by reference” into code, laws, and regulations. In fact, over 5,000 ASTM standards are referenced in US, state, local, and international codes, laws, and regulations!

Not all standards organizations are created equal. But, ASTM’s consensus and open process provide a voice to everyone. We can all share our frustrations and challenges with the fragment state-by-state regulations, compounded by a lack of federal and international standardization. ASTM provides the framework for this unique opportunity – for our industry to come together, writing the playbook and road mapping the future of our industry. 

ASTM’s Committee D37 has been active since 2017 which has resulted in over 30 standards being published. With dozens more in development, we have already begun the hard work of developing this future roadmap for our industry to adopt. This is just the beginning! No matter what your role is in this industry, there is a place for you and your organization to develop standards that will make your life easier and provide value for our industry for years to come. Learn more about how you can get involved and benefit from this historic opportunity by checking out the resources at ASTM’s cannabis-specific website. Bookmark and check back often, as more standards and services are developed to meet the evolving needs of our industry!