National Data Security Standards from ASTM coming for Cannabis

astm cannabis standards

Security Regulations on the Cannabis Industry

How much water are you selling customers in your cannabis?

The question is not as absurd as it sounds. All cannabis flower contains some amount of moisture. How much moisture is acceptable in a business environment where prices are based almost entirely on weight?

Water activity is just one of many important metrics that cannabis cultivators, processors, and distributors have to agree on before a national industry can evolve. The development of industry standards is crucial to setting a level playing field between business operators who may work in entirely different geographical areas.

Moisture content is a great example because of how deeply it can impact a dispensary’s bottom line. If a cannabis processor stores fresh flower at a humidity level of more than 65%, not only do the plant cells swell with water, but mold is given free rein to grow.

ASTM Cannabis Standards Ensure Fair Commerce

No dispensary owner wants to purchase waterlogged cannabis. Certainly no one – from cannabis users to dispensary owners and state regulators – wants to see mold growing on medical-quality consumables.

State regulation is largely concerned with the obligations that cannabis organizations have to the public. Commercial standardization addresses the obligations that cannabis businesses have to one another. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is the international standards organization that will provide cannabis organization certification to cultivators, processors, and dispensaries with national standard certifications that licensed Cannabis businesses are adhering to the same protocols across the United States.

While these standards may present challenges to dispensary owners, they represent a key step forward in medical and recreational marijuana commerce. Every industry has its own regulatory standards, and cannabis is no different.

What Standards Will ASTM Require of Dispensaries?

In February 2020, ASTM will publish the D37.05 cannabis standards. Our team at ezGreen contributed to the development of these standards, and we are enthusiastic about its ability to help consumers and dispensary owners flourish under a stable, predictable commercial framework.

D37.05 concerns itself primarily with security and transportation. These standards will send a message to consumers and regulators alike, letting them know that participating dispensary owners are fully committed to providing top-tier service to their communities while cutting down on black market product diversion and cybercriminal activities.

The six upcoming standards include:

  • WK61984 Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
  • WK61980 Video Surveillance System
  • WK61983 Access Control System (ACS)
  • WK65749 Transportation Security
  • WK65750 Transportation Security
  • WK69969 Implementing Cybersecurity in a Cannabis Operation

It is clear that cultivators, processors, and dispensaries that conduct their security and transportation processes with meticulous attention to detail are serving the public interest. These standards will help guide that process.

At the same time, organizations that follow these standards are protecting their own interests by ensuring best-in-class security. Comprehensive product tracking and surveillance give dispensary owners peace of mind while guiding them towards continuous improvement and compliance.  Full Disclosure ezGreen Compliance management team are members of the ASTM D37.05 committee for Cannabis security.

Co-written by Mike Coner & Ed Dibiler.

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