At a recent conference of measurement science experts, ASTM International Chairman Ralph Paroli, Ph.D., of the National Research Council of Canada, delivered a keynote presentation on the increasing interest in developing consensus standards for cannabis as more governments and countries legalize marijuana.

Paroli, NRC’s director of research and development in measurement science and standards, discussed how the lack of accepted industry standards and test methods for cannabis is a concern for regulators, consumers, businesses, and others.

“Companies are getting different results from test labs, law enforcement organizations are having difficulty measuring THC in the bloodstream, consumers don’t see consistent labeling nor child-proof container practices, and more,” Paroli said at the NCSL International Workshop & Symposium in St. Paul, Minn. “Normative and calibration standards could play a significant role in addressing these and other issues.”

Paroli noted how leading standards development organizations such as ASTM International could convene stakeholders to create and revise cannabis standards.

“Standards from organizations such as ASTM International have the ability to adapt and change quickly to meet the evolving needs of industries like cannabis,” he noted.  He also mentioned that ASTM International already attracts technical experts in areas such as agriculture, consumer products, food processing, health care and medical devices, and more.

Based on initial inquiries, ASTM International has begun an exploratory process to determine whether industry and other stakeholders have a need to develop standards in this area. “It is clear that industry and others are becoming more interested in collaborating to advance standardization for marijuana, particularly for medical purposes,” he said.