ASTM International Committee Activity Focuses on Cannabis and Consumer Safety

A proposed standard from ASTM International’s cannabis committee (D37) aims to help ensure product quality and improve consumer safety in the cannabis industry. The standard is being created with support from contributions of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

A 2020 Journal of Natural Products article by USP and members of its Cannabis Expert Panel, “Cannabis Inflorescence for Medical Purposes: USP Considerations for Quality Attributes,” serves as the scientific basis of the standard. Authors include active ASTM International cannabis committee members participating in the development of this standard.

“Science always informs and drives standards development and the work of USP is foundational to the methodologies of this proposed cannabis standard,” said David Vaillencourt, CEO of GMP Collective and ASTM International member. “The information provided by USP allows for the construction of a strong standard to support quality cannabis products and ultimately protect consumer health.” 

The proposed standard (WK73439) will provide the first science-based methodology to classify different varieties of cannabis flower (chemotypes). Differentiating between these chemotypes in the creation and analysis of cannabis products will help ensure product quality and reduce the risk of contamination. 

“The main driver and motivation behind this paper on cannabis for medical use, and everything we do, is to support global public health,” said Shawna Embrey, senior director of growth programs at USP. “Developing standards in this area is key to furthering the cannabis industry overall, with an emphasis on science-based standardization to support our number one goal, helping to protect consumer safety.”

According to Vaillencourt, the proposed ASTM International standard will provide a way to appropriately classify the three dominant types of cannabis for medical purposes and to help support regulatory bodies, testing laboratories, and cannabis cultivators. 

USP is an independent scientific organization that collaborates with the world's top experts in health and science to develop quality standards for medicines, dietary supplements, and food ingredients. Through standards, advocacy, and education, USP helps increase the availability of quality medicines, supplements, and food for billions of people worldwide. To view the USP paper on cannabis inflorescence for medical purposes, click here.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. To learn more about cannabis committee participation and membership, visit

ASTM International is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization that develops voluntary consensus standards and defers to appropriate government authorities to determine the legal and regulatory framework regarding the control and use of cannabis.

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