A2LA Today l March 2017 l Number 134
By Adam Gouker, A2LA General Manager, Accreditation Services
In recognition of the need for international standards within the cannabis industry, ASTM International held an organization meeting at their headquarters in West Conshohocken, PA on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, with the intent of establishing a new Cannabis Committee. The meeting served as an open forum for all interested stakeholders to voice their ideas for the committee’s framework. It was well attended by approximately 70 individuals from a variety of expertise, including test labs, cultivators, packagers, independent consultants, trade groups, equipment manufacturers, and standards developers. ASTM staff provided exceptional education to the meeting participants by explaining the ASTM standards development process and outlining the background that lead up to the need for a Cannabis Committee.
Throughout the day, attendees debated several sub-committee titles as well as the topics for which each would potentially be responsible. The following sub-committees were approved by the membership under the main Cannabis Committee: Indoor and Outdoor Agriculture, Quality Management Systems, Laboratory, Processing and Handling, Security and Transportation, Personnel Training/ Assessment/Credentialing, Executive, and Terminology. The executive leadership of the main committee was also approved, with Mr. Ralph Paroli elected as Chairman.
In A2LA’s experience of accrediting cannabis testing labs, we have come to realize the need for development of standard test methods. With that in mind, A2LA has joined as a member of the laboratory sub-committee to support the development of laboratory-related standards for the cannabis industry. We were encouraged by ASTM’s statistic, which indicated that new standards are normally developed within a seven-month timeframe (on average), indicating that new cannabis test methods could be published within 2017. A2LA is encouraged and eager to begin work within this new ASTM committee. We look forward to the next meeting, tentatively scheduled for June 2017.