Standardization News

Outreach: Building Relationships

ASTM and ARSO Collaborate on Cannabis Workshop

More than 60 people from 20 countries attended an August 17 virtual workshop on ASTM’s cannabis committee (D37), which was presented by ASTM International and the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO). Many of the attendees represented African national standards organizations who are in memorandum of understanding partnerships with ASTM. 

Maria Jiverage, manager of training in ASTM’s global cooperation department, hosted the event, which featured six speakers:

  • Hermogene Nsengimana, Ph.D., secretary general, ARSO, gave the keynote address, speaking on the importance of ARSO’s involvement in cannabis standardization.
  • Robert Morgan, a director in technical committee operations with ASTM International, outlined the history of the cannabis committee, which formed in 2017. The committee now has more than 1,000 members from 30 countries. There are more than 20 approved standards from the group, and nearly 40 being developed. Morgan noted that D37 strives to develop standards that are relevant throughout the global cannabis marketplace. 
  • Reuben Gisore, technical director, ARSO, provided further information on ARSO, with a focus on the work of ARSO technical committee 82 on African traditional medicine.
  • Tricia Hock, director of certification programs at SEI, an affiliate of ASTM International, gave insight on SEI’s holistic approach to D37’s work, providing certification, proficiency testing, and other services to the cannabis industry.  
  • Amohelang Hatase, standards development officer, Lesotho Standards Institution, presented an overview of the cannabis industry in Lesotho, which has a long history of artisanal and traditional farming.
  • Peter Harmse, a member of the South African Bureau of Standards technical committee, presented further information on cannabis rules and regulations in South Africa.

The workshop provided detailed insight into the work of D37, as well as the importance of cannabis standards to Africa and throughout the world. 

Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization Becomes First Partner in PPE Collaboration

ASTM and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in March 2021 to collaborate on activities related to personal protective equipment (PPE). The 18-month project is designed to enable the diversification of products and supply chains in partner nations. The intent is to help strengthen health systems by building knowledge about the content and role of PPE standards, especially in the areas of masks, gowns, gloves, and sanitizers. The Jordan Standards and Metrology Organization (JSMO) is now the first partner in the collaboration.

The technical sessions with JSMO have focused on masks and sanitizers. The technical training is led by experts who have been involved in the development of the subject ASTM standards. Procedural training sessions are being presented by ASTM staff, building knowledge and providing tips to effectively engage with ASTM, the development of standards, and related programs.

ASEAN Member Nations Benefit from Study Tour on Additive Manufacturing

ASTM International and the U.S. Department of Commerce — together with the ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality (ACCSQ) — have hosted several sessions of the Study Tour on Additive Manufacturing for the ten member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Conducted virtually since its inception, the program’s initial training sessions focused on providing fundamental information about additive manufacturing (AM) standards and the collaborative relationships in the U.S.-based AM sector. Current programming is focused on providing sessions around policy/regulation, the medical and mobility sectors, and gap analysis.

As part of the collaboration, the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence is supporting the development of an AM strategic guidance document for industry, government, and academia in Southeast Asia. The guide will facilitate application of AM/3D-printing technologies and relevant standards among the ASEAN member states. 

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