What is ASTM?
ASTM International is a Standards Organization that generates internationally accepted standards for multitude of industrial and consumer products. Without standards, Industries are left to market forces, and without collaboration, the industries fail to realize the full market potential. Reaching international markets requires standardization and ensuring social equity for manufacturing.
Why is ASTM dabbling in Cannabis?
ASTM International D37 Cannabis Standards Committee provides the opportunity for all cannabis and hemp industry stakeholders to collaboratively write standards for the manufacturing of cannabis. To date, there is no internationally recognized standard, as there are for pharmaceutical substances. However, several independent consensus standards, such as the Americans for Safe Access, American Herbal Products Association, Foundation for Unified Cannabis Standards, and Patient Focused Certification have contributed their standards for the baseline of cannabis and hemp specific Good Manufacturing Practices.
Competition vs Collaboration.
The United States has 3 major car manufacturers, whereas Japan has 6. This did not happen by accident. The Japanese auto manufacturers standardized their industry through collaborative efforts. Collaboration caused the Japanese to reach international markets, well beyond their own borders, dropping the concept of competition in order to reduce the overall cost of research and development. The United States auto manufacturers did not collaborate and instead worked on solving the same research and development problems internally. While there are many variables to the two respective nations profitability and market share in automotive manufacturing, the graph sourced the Economic Policy Institute below shows the trends – the Japanese manufacturers are increasing their market share.
How is it that the island nation of Japan is able to approach the market share levels of US manufacturers, inside the United States? It’s because the collaborated! If they had only competed, there would be far fewer remaining. Meanwhile, there is fierce competition between US manufacturers, and the opportunity to collaborate has far past.
Collaboration in Cannabis Standardization.
The case for Cannabis Standardization is not different. We have the opportunity to work collaboratively on an international level, and set standards that ensure the industry can self-regulate for all of its market segments. Without collaboration, we will be speaking different languages in regard to Cannabis Manufacturing Standards. International fair trade of products can only happen when all stakeholders are represented and ensure social equity is a primary consideration.
Inclusion and Social Equity.
To achieve goals of inclusion and social equity, stakeholders need to look to the commonalities between their manufacturing, before they look for differences. How can Sub-Saharan African farmers that have a specific climate and growing environment that produces low variation between plant populations, and Pharmaceutical Companies seeking the low variation raw materials from a single origin source work together…? With Standards!
Japanese auto manufactures have mastered collaboration on the national level, standardizing common needs in manufacturing within their country. ASTM D37 Cannabis Standards Committee Stakeholders have the opportunity to collaborate on an international level. We can work together, standardizing the common needs in manufacturing together, and gain an increased market share for all stakeholders.
Join ASTM D37 Cannabis Standards Committee!
Make you voice heard, become a stakeholder of ASTM International D37 Cannabis Standards Committee, and take part in building cannabis manufacturing standards that will impact international history.