Work Item
ASTM WK74699

New Guide for Techniques for Lowering Microbial Load in Cannabis/Hemp Raw Materials

1. Scope

The development and maintenance of standards and guidance materials for cannabis and its products and processes. The work of this committee will be coordinated with other ASTM committees and other organizations having mutual interest.


cannabis; hemp; industrial hemp; limit of detection; limit of quantitation; marijuana; microbial contaminations; microwave; organic load; radiation; radio frequency; remediation; RF; testing


Microbiological contamination is a fact of life. Therefore, having a clearly defined way of remediating or lowering these contaminants to an acceptable level is critical to preventing economic losses while maintaining public and environmental health and safety. Several techniques exist that can be implemented to lower microbial contamination after it has set in, but no guidance documents exist to explain which techniques can be used on cannabis (marijuana and hemp) raw materials. This standard serves to rectify this situation. The techniques that are presented in this standard were evaluated based on several factors: (1) are they known techniques that have been implemented in other industries, specifically food; (2) do they have usage case data on cannabis (marijuana and hemp) raw materials; (3) can they be conducted in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner; and (4) can they be performed with limited economic and infrastructural resources. Those techniques that possess most, if not all, these factors are included in this guide. Supporting data for these techniques are provided in the accompanying annexes.

The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.


Developed by Subcommittee: D37.04

Committee: D37

Staff Manager: Jimmy Farrell

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 11-10-2020

Technical Contact: Jill Ellsworth

Item: 002

Ballot: D37.04 (20-03)

Status: Will Reballot Item