The Need for Cannabis Standards

The idea of a strong global cannabis industry with branded products, corporate stakeholders, and government regulations at different levels would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago. Besides this is exactly where we are today. Cannabis is one of the constantly growing industries in the world, with U.S. sales alone for state-legal cannabis calculated at more than $7 billion, up 25% from 2015 to 2016.

The Need for Standards

Cannabis and its derivatives are mostly identified as the powerful medicine for the treatment of a broad variety of diseases by countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, South Africa, Uruguay, and others. 

In the United States, many states have authorized medical cannabis, although its rank as an illegal Schedule I drug has prevented the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from its regulation and oversight.

So as a result of this, U.S. states have tried to organize their own regulations and safety measures, following a jumble of laws in that country.

A Voice for Everyone

Cannabis offers a different challenge compared to the common products and stuff for which ASTM International develops cannabis standards. 

Education by workshops and conferences is one of the various supplemental advantages of adopting ASTM International for administering cannabis standards development efforts.

The ASTM procedure enables those individuals who participated almost twenty years ago and these may be the farmers, or small manufacturers, or small dispensaries for continuing to have a voice at the table.

Standardization Efforts in 6 Areas

ASTM International had a meeting at its global headquarters on 28th February, as there was an increasing number of more stakeholders who voiced the necessity for coordination by a world-renowned standards developer.

After the meeting, the 60 or so attendees decided cooperatively for building the committee on cannabis.

On that same day, they determined for pursuing standardization efforts in 6 areas, which they concluded would work as the subcommittees of the group:

  • Laboratory
  • Quality management systems
  • Processing and handling
  • Personnel training and evaluation
  • Outdoor and indoor gardening and agriculture
  • Safety and transportation


The committee was accepted on 25th April by the full ASTM International board of directors.

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