Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to common questions about
ASTM standards, membership and
participation, balloting and voting, and more.

Standards and General ASTM

A standard is a document that has been developed and established within the consensus principles of ASTM’s procedures and regulations. Standards provide information to manufacturers, laboratories, retailers, and consumers. In ASTM International, the term “standard” serves as a nominative adjective in the title of documents, such as test methods or specifications, to connote specified consensus and approval. The various types of standard documents are based on the needs and usages as prescribed by the technical committees of the Society.
More than 30,000 technical experts from across 150 countries come together to develop, write, and support standards in our 147 technical committees.
ASTM members represent producers of materials/products/systems/services, users of those materials/products/systems/services other than for household use, testing labs, government agencies, trade groups, medical professionals, engineers, consumers and consumer advocacy groups, and academia.
The benefits of standards are many and include aligning best practices, enhancing safety, maintaining uniformity, avoiding duplication of efforts, and building trust.
Standards are critical to advancing the cannabis industry. Validated analytical testing methods and access to accredited laboratories are crucial to maintaining product safety and quality and, most importantly, consumer trust. Standards also ease the burden on trade regulations – when common standards are used, governments know the products being imported meet health and safety standards.

When compliance with a standard is not mandated by law, market participants observe standards simply because it is in their interest to do so.

The content of voluntary standards may be incorporated by reference directly into government statutes and regulations and then must be followed as a matter of law.
ASTM International provides the ability for customers who have already purchased an individual ASTM product or subscription service to get authorized permission to share content or make reproductions of its copyrighted materials in two offerings: PAY PER USE and ANNUAL LICENSE. For more information, go to or contact ASTM at
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ASTM Membership and Participating on Technical Committees

Anyone who has interest in the field covered by a committee’s scope is eligible to become a committee member.

Joining ASTM International and one or more technical committees can be done online on the ASTM website. Your annual membership fee of $75 comes with one complimentary volume of the Annual Book of Standards in print or online.

ASTM memberships are based on a yearly renewal cycle. The renewal period for the annual membership is between October and March. Members who do not renew their membership during that period will have their membership dropped. A lapsed membership can be reinstated at any time.

Any interested person can participate on a technical committee through ASTM membership.

The individual membership fee is $75 and the organizational membership fee is $400. The taxability of membership fees is subject to the applicable sales tax rules and regulations of your jurisdiction.

Open participation and the consensus process are core values and the principal strengths of standards development in ASTM International. To be successful, the consensus process depends on the ability of members to work together with an attitude of collaboration and collegiality. Each member is expected to participate and contribute in good faith to the standardization activities undertaken by the committee(s) to which they belong.

The process of building new activities within ASTM usually starts small; as it progresses, it gains momentum as well as size and relevance.


Stage one in the organizational process is the exploratory level. First, ASTM is contacted about possible development of an activity. Then a period of due diligence is done to gather information about the industry and the need for standards. Next, a few diverse stakeholders are contacted (often from opposite sides of the issue), to see if there is enough support to proceed.

The Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees require voting balance in a committee and a subcommittee. That balance comes through official and non-official votes. The ASTM consensus process and its goal of producing the most useful standard possible calls for representatives of small firms or consultancies to have the same vote as a large corporation.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises with one or two representatives have an equal footing with multinational corporate giants that have numerous representatives on a subcommittee or committee. This collective expertise should lead to more technical proficiency in a standard, but it must not lead to results that favor a certain company’s process or product.

Balance is achieved by classifying members as producers, users, consumers, and general interest — that is, their voting interest — on ASTM committees that develop standards for materials, products, systems, or services that are offered for sale. Producers may not outnumber the user, consumer, and general interest members of a subcommittee, and producers can have only 50 percent or less of the vote.

According to the ASTM Regulations Governing Technical Committee Operations, on classified committees and subcommittees, members shall be classified according to voting interest. The classification of a member at the main committee may be different from the classification at the subcommittee level; however, a member classified on any subcommittee as a producer shall be classified as a producer on the main committee.


Classifications include Producer, User, Consumer, and General Interest. For more information on classification, refer to the ASTM Regulations and your Committee Bylaws.

A “technical contact” is the task group chair, the proponent for a new or revised standard. This is the person who leads the group in the development of the language that makes up the standard. This person also leads the review of input and resolution of votes.

There is no obligation to attend face-to-face meetings, although many members place a great value in attending. You may participate by reviewing and voting on standards through our online balloting system.

Yes, payment of the annual membership fee provides access to any ASTM committee at no additional cost. View full list of committees here.

If you are a current member, you can easily join additional committees and subcommittees from the ASTM website. Simply log in to your MyASTM account and click on the “Join Additional Committees” tab.

A collaboration area is a dedicated page on our website for a specific standards activity. For example, if you are leading the development of a new standard, you can request a collaboration area, which will allow you to (1) grant access to specific individuals assisting in the activity; (2) post drafts of the new standard as it is being developed; (3) post comments on drafts and other supporting documentation.

ASTM members receive a 10% discount on all publications, subject to verification of membership number. If you are an ASTM member, please log in when you come to the ASTM website so that we recognize your membership and apply the 10% discount to your order. If members do not log in, download products will be charged at list price. Discounts do not apply to all products and cannot be combined. When discounts overlap, the higher discount will be applied. For example, a member who orders 10 copies of a publication will receive the 25% discount.

Committee D37 on Cannabis

Committee D37 includes a balanced cross-section of industry experts including cultivators, processors, producers, distributors, regulators, researchers, laboratories, consumers, and business owners.
A task group is an ad-hoc group operating in an unofficial capacity for the subcommittee for a specific activity.

You do not have to be an ASTM member to join a D37 task group. To suggest a D37 task group or join an already existing D37 task group, contact D37 Staff Manager Jimmy Farrell at

A “technical contact” is the task group chair, the proponent for a new or revised standard. This is the person who leads the group in the development of the language that makes up the standard. This person also leads the review of input and resolution of votes.
We suggest you reach out to your D37 Staff Manager Jimmy Farrell at Let him know how you would like to get involved, and he will get you started.
Log in and go to your My Committees page and select Rosters.

Regulators and Regulations

When compliance with a standard is not mandated by law, market participants observe standards simply because it is in their interest to do so.

The content of voluntary standards may be incorporated by reference directly into government statutes and regulations and then must be followed as a matter of law.
Yes, federal government agencies are actually encouraged to participate in standards development organizations per the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA). Additionally, OMB Circular A-119 reinforces the goals of the NTTAA and clarifies that agency representatives can participate, vote, and even lead activities.
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA) requires federal government agencies to use standards developed by voluntary consensus standards organizations such as ASTM. Using voluntary consensus standards means the government can avoid the costs of developing its own standards.
While on the state level there is no uniform policy like the NTTAA, state government employees regularly participate in ASTM committees. Currently, more than 300 state government employees from departments such as transportation, agriculture, and healthcare are members of ASTM committees.
State regulators have already adopted standards for Determination of Water Activity (aw) in Cannabis Flower (ASTM D8196) and the International Symbol for Identifying Consumer Products Containing Intoxicating Cannabinoids (ASTM D8441). In addition, the National Conference on Weights and Measures is considering adopting the standards for water activity (ASTM D8196 and ASTM D8197) into their handbook for industry and regulators.
As a D37 member, participation in our Government Liaison Subcommittee (D37.92) provides an open forum to discuss safety issues for cannabis and provide guidance on the need for new standards. As a member, you can interact with fellow state, federal, and international regulators through harmonized discussions on the important issues.

Meetings and Symposia

Volunteer members, with guidance from ASTM staff, are elected or appointed to serve in various leadership positions and conduct the meetings in accordance with the ASTM Regulations Governing Technical Committees.
Any person who has an interest in the subject matter can attend an ASTM meeting. There is no requirement that you be a member of ASTM to attend. We do ask that you register for the meeting so that we know who is in attendance.
No. ASTM International’s free meeting registration ensures fees are not a barrier to participation. Some committees collect a nominal voluntary activity fee to support committee activities (e.g., symposia).

You can register for upcoming meetings through one of several pages.

  • All meetings can be found under the Get Involved tab on
  • On a committee’s homepage, you can find its upcoming meetings under Future Meetings.
  • Finally, links to meetings for each committee you participate on appear on your My Committees page.
If an agenda is available for an upcoming meeting, you can access it by logging in to your MyASTM account. Go to your My Committees page and click on the link for Agendas under the appropriate committee heading.
The chair leading the group will adhere to an agenda. Important actions are listed on the agenda; attendees can bring any matter of importance before the group during the New Business portion.
Log in to your MyASTM account. Go to your My Committees page and click on the link for Minutes under the appropriate committee heading.
Most ASTM International technical committees meet in-person bi-annually and hold virtual meetings throughout the year. Visit the ASTM meetings page and search for your committee or contact your staff manager.

The event chair or subcommittee representative must complete an official proposal and submit it to the committee representative, ASTM Staff Manager, and the Symposia Manager. The sponsoring technical committee’s executive subcommittee will review the proposal for approval of the event. After approval, the ASTM Symposia Manager will begin working on event planning with the event chair. Submit your form here.

Balloting and Voting on ASTM Standards

Consensus on the content of a standard is developed using ASTM International’s balloting process. When a new standard or revisions to an existing standard are proposed, the draft language is posted to the private, members-only access side of the website. After reviewing the proposed technical content of the ballot item, members vote to approve, abstain, or vote a negative on the item. These votes are resolved by the associated subcommittee.

The formal balloting process begins at the subcommittee level. The subcommittee is the more concentrated group of experts on the subject matter, and consensus is first developed there. When approved at the subcommittee level, the ballot item moves to the main committee level. This is where the wider group of individuals on the committee participate in the consensus development process.
Ballots are conducted on the ASTM website. There is a great deal of flexibility as to when ballots are issued. Some committees open a ballot when a particular draft is ready. Other committees schedule dates for ballots and all items that are ready in time appear on the regularly scheduled ballot.

The administrative ballot helps task group and subcommittee leaders make progress on actions between meetings by providing a way to gather opinions and measure the degree of consensus on a topic without having to send a proposed draft out for approval and publication. Subsequent technical revisions can result from information gathered during an Administrative Ballot.

When a ballot is issued you will receive an email informing you of the open and close dates and the URL to access the ballot.
The e-ballot notification will direct you to the MyASTM/Login page. From there you are instructed to enter the “MyASTM” section. The process is the same as if you were accessing your minutes or the committee roster; you enter your username and your password. Once inside the “MyASTM” section you will see a link to any open ballots. You can also view “My Outstanding Ballots.” Ballots not submitted will be listed here until the ballot closes. (Please note if there are no open ballots there will not be a link.)
Ballots are your opportunity to review revisions to current standards or content of new standards. You can submit your vote with comments to recommend edits or changes to technical content. If you have any questions about the ballot item or need assistance you can reach out to the technical contact (listed in the ballot item) or your staff manager.

To cast your vote on an item, click on the appropriate radio button. If you choose to vote negative, affirmative with comment, or abstain with comment, a text box will automatically appear for you to provide your written statement. You can either type directly into the box, copy text from another file and paste into the box, or use the browse button (choose file button for Safari or Chrome users) to upload a document.


If you do not provide a written statement for an item for which you have voted negative, affirmative with comment, or abstain with comment, the system will not allow you to submit your ballot. A warning will appear that asks you to supply a statement or attach a statement file.

When you hit the “Submit Ballot to ASTM” button, a summary of how you voted on each item will appear on your screen. Your written and attached statements for negative, affirmative with comment, or abstain with comment will be included. A record is also kept on your My Committees page under “Recent Activity.”
Log in to your MyASTM account. Go to your My Committees page and click on the link for Committee Profile. This will show the list of active committees you belong to, and you can expand the classification and vote information for each committee/subcommittee.
When a ballot closes, the results, including the text of all negatives and comments, are posted to MyASTM. Log in to MyASTM and go to your My Committees page and View Closed Ballots/Closing Reports. Links provide access to all ballot responses and vote tallies.

When a ballot is submitted, it is transmitted to ASTM along with the associated comments and negatives. Comments and negatives are posted to Negatives & Comments under “My Tool”’ in “My Committees” for subcommittee chairs and technical contacts.

Subcommittee chairs and technical contacts are notified when new statements are posted on a daily basis during the ballot. After the ballot closes, results will continue to be posted in this area for subcommittee chairs and technical contacts. All members may view results after the ballot closes in “Closed Ballots/Closing Reports” (from MyASTM, go to My Ballots, then select “Closed Ballots/Closing Reports”).

A voting interest is defined as “an organization, a subsidiary of an organization, or an unassociated individual member having a distinctly separate interest from any other interests with regard to the scope of a committee or subcommittee,” while a voting member “has the official vote on ballots and motions concerned with ASTM standards.”

While each voting interest is allowed one voting member, the Regulations also define a non-official voting member as one “whose votes and comments on all ballots or motions shall be fully considered, but whose votes are not included in the calculation of the numerical voting requirements for standards.”

Each ASTM member, whether an official voting member or not, can vote on all Society Review items as well as on each ballot of a main committee and subcommittee to which the member belongs. Negatives and comments submitted from all ballot returns, from official and non-official voting members alike, must be considered.

Cannabis Training

Find live and on-demand cannabis training at When logged in to MyASTM, you can find training in the My Committees page (select “Additional Resources”). View our extensive list of ASTM’s live and on-demand training options on the ASTM website.
ASTM offers several options for new members to learn the ASTM process and expectations. Visit our Classroom for Members to learn more.

ASTM’s Training and eLearning Department is proud to offer continuing education units (CEUs), professional development hours (PDHs), and CPD hours for our growing catalog of training courses. Learn more.