New Cannabis Standards Under Development

Participation Sought

ASTM International’s recently-formed cannabis committee (D37) is inviting stakeholders to help create standards related to processing, packaging, quality management systems, and more. The group met for the first time in June and now has about 240 members.  
The proposed Practice for the Labeling of Packaged Cannabis Products aims to provide standards for packaging and labeling at every stage of the value chain, from how wholesale/raw materials are packaged and labeled, to how retail products are packaged and labeled. According to member Andy Heins, vice president of All Packaging Company, these standards will help address the widely varying regulations across many states, provinces, and jurisdictions. He says, “The current lack of consistency, as well as the frequency of changes being instituted by regulatory agencies cause substantial confusion, waste, and additional costs to both manufacturer and consumer.”
The work item for Qualitative and Quantitative Standards of Products Resulting from the Processing of Cannabis Raw Materials and Manufacturing from These Derivatives aims to help standardize terminology and classifications of various products and then define product specifications.  Darwin Millard, a botanical extraction specialist at Plant Consulting Group, LLC, says that, “These specifications could be used by government agencies, businesses, and consumers alike to support product safety and quality control.”
A proposed Test Method for Measuring Cannabis Moisture aims to use “water activity” as a cannabis moisture measurement method. Building on that, the proposed Specification for Acceptable Water Activity Range for Dry Cannabis Flower will aim to determine ideal water activity range for cannabis.  According to organizers, these two standards are needed to address the fact that cannabis is unsafe and loses quality if water activity is too high or too low.
The proposed Practice for Quality Management System on Corrective Action Preventative Action (CAPA) for Cannabis Cultivation, Processing, Testing and Distribution will help formalize a system for documenting processes, procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. The CAPA approach will help detect, investigate, prevent, monitor, and correct quality-related issues, according to organizers who add that this effort will help companies meet regulatory and customer requirements while improving effectiveness and efficiency.
These and related standards development activities are being supported in part through memorandums of understanding with the American Herbal Products Association and the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS). Click here for more information on Committee D37.

Industry Sectors: 
Consumer Products
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