Friday, August 12, 2022

A Federal Standards Handbook Now Contains Weights And Measures For Marijuana

The incorporation of the marijuana language in the federal handbook is another sign of the normalization of the cannabis industry in states across the country.

By Joana Scopel

As a result of a vote that state and local officials took at a conference last week, a federal government handbook on weights and measures which mentions marijuana standards in a new section has been made available. The exemplary contains a “cannabis potency measurement, packaging, labeling,” section, among other issues related to cannabis products.

At the annual meeting of the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), which took place early in January, members of the conference have already considered a series of cannabis proposals, three to be exact.

marijuana
Photo by Kindel Media via Pexels

NCWM’s Laws and Regulations Committee was who put forward all three of the measures, which then received votes from the bicameral conference’s House of Representatives and House of Delegates, reported Marijuana Moment.

Finally, last week, two of these three measures that had advanced to voting status were rejected but one will now be incorporated into federal guidance from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Standards For Measuring The Potency Of Cannabis Products, Packaging, And Labeling

The measure approved says that “state regulators are empowered to start rulemaking to create standards for measuring the potency of cannabis products, packaging, and labeling requirements, and reasonable variations in levels of cannabinoid content.” In addition, it includes “authorities on setting allowable variations in marijuana or hemp quantity due to the loss or gain of moisture.”

The two failed measures concerned “establishing a uniform, federal definition for cannabis and cannabis-containing products and developing a policy for the water activity range for marijuana.” However, a separate approved measure recommends that “state officials overseeing commercial weighing and measuring apparatuses have the authority to establish individual cannabis standards for their respective jurisdictions.”

Those measures received enough votes in the House of Delegates, which is also integrated by NCWM-affiliated regulators, however, it was not enough to be incorporated in the handbook, “measures came up just shy of passage in the separate House of Representatives, which consists of 52 voting members representing all 50 states and two U.S. territories,” reads a statement.

However, the measures have now been returned to the committee, which means they could be taken up again at the 2023 January meeting. If members decide to reconsider them, likely they could be enacted next July and adopted into NIST’s 2024 handbook.

With respect to the above, the section on giving officials cannabis-related authority will be adopted into the next edition. of the NIST handbook, which will be released in January 2023.

marijuana nug
Photo by Kirill Vasikev / EyeEm/Getty Images

This Is Just The Beginning

The state departments overseeing weights and measures are not obligated to incorporate the cannabis standardization policies. Besides, some states have already vested that responsibility in statute to other agencies.

“There was a pattern with respect to states that chose to abstain from voting on the failed cannabis standardization proposals,” stated Charlie Rutherford, a co-chair of the NCWM cannabis task force. “The CBD-only states, or the states that don’t allow flower, were the primary ones to abstain.”

However, the incorporation of the marijuana language in the federal handbook is another sign of the normalization of the cannabis industry in states across the country.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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