U.S. Non-Profit Certification Program Joins Forces with International Standards Group
October 23, 2018 | Reenal Doshi
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This week, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International), a global standards organization, and the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) announced a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on standards for the cannabis industry. ICCI, located in the Czech Republic, is the first European partner for ASTM International’s cannabis committee, which has grown to more than 500 members worldwide in its first two years.
ICCI was co-founded by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the U.S.’s largest patient-focused medical cannabis advocacy organization. ICCI was created to help remove barriers to access for patients globally by bringing together the current knowledge base for cannabis research as it relates to biomedicine, life sciences, and policy sciences to create a platform for sharing, exploration, and education. In 2016, ASA signed a licensing agreement with ICCI to offer its Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program around the globe. The PFC program was developed to address product safety and quality control standards for the medical cannabis industry. Now, under the agreement, the committee will coordinate standards development activities for the global cannabis and hemp industry.
“To meet the pressing need for cannabis standards, we are pleased to be coordinating our resources and efforts with Americans for Safe Access’ Patient Focused Certification program into one activity under ASTM International, one of the world’s top standards organizations,” said Martin Masilko, ICCI Chief Operating Officer.
The organizations state that they are prioritizing a cannabis cultivation standard, followed by standards related to cannabis cosmetics as well as food supplements and extracts. ICCI’s involvement will also strengthen the committee’s collaborative efforts in medicinal and laboratory-related standards, too.
“ICCI’s global expertise in this fast-growing industry is well known,” said Ralph Paroli, Ph.D., the cannabis committee chairman and the director of R&D in measurement science and standards at the National Research Council of Canada. “ICCI’s engagement in this new committee will strengthen international standards development, identify gaps, prevent duplicative efforts, and more.”
After a number of requests from industry, the cannabis committee (designated D37 by ASTM International) formally organized two years ago. The group includes businesses, laboratories, associations, governments, and others.
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research. ASA was founded in 2002 as a vehicle for patients to advocate for the acceptance of cannabis as medicine. With over 100,000 active members in all 50 states, ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.
The Patient Focused Certification (PFC) program was developed by Americans for Safe Access using the Cannabis Monograph created with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP). These standards have been directly adopted by nearly half the medical cannabis programs in the U.S. PFC business certification and professional training are available in all medical cannabis states, the District of Columbia, and some U.S. territories. PFC offers company certification, consultation services, and industry training for any business regardless of its stage of development or role in the supply chain.
International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) was established as a joint project of ASA, Czech scientific societies, and investment firm Dioscorides Global Holdings. As a center of excellence, ICCI works with Charles University, the Czech Technical University, the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno, Mendel University in Brno, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. ICCI identifies, coordinates and supports global research priorities for the advancement of cannabis and cannabinoid treatments.
About ASTM International
Committed to serving global societal needs, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. They integrate consensus standards – developed with their international membership of volunteer technical experts – and innovative services to improve lives… Helping our world work better.