Cannabis Science Conference Spring 2024: Darwin Millard Previews ASTM International Meetings

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In this interview, Darwin Millard shares what attendees will experience in the two ASTM Subcommittee meetings he will be guiding.

As part of the pre-conference workshops at the Cannabis Science Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in several ASTM International meetings. In this interview, Darwin Millard, Vice-subcommittee Chair with ASTM International, shares a preview of the two committee meetings he will be guiding: “Initiative on Equipment & Facility Cleaning” and “Joint ASTM Subcommittee Initiative on Vape Device Safety & Testing.”

ASTM is an international standards development organization. The D37 Committee on Cannabis was founded to continuously develop consensus standards to ensure the safety and quality of cannabis products through testing methods, cultivation guides, laboratory considerations, and more. All stakeholders in the cannabis industry who share an interest in these topics are encouraged to attend the meetings and share their perspectives.

The four ASTM meetings being held on May 7th, 2024:

  • ASTM Subcommittee D37.93 on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Meeting • Scheril Murray Powell, Esq., Cannabis, Agricultural, and Dietary Supplement Attorney
  • ASTM Subcommittee D37.04 Initiative on Equipment & Facility Cleaning • Darwin Millard, Technical Director at CSQ
  • Joint ASTM Subcommittee Initiative on Vape Device Safety & Testing • Darwin Millard
  • ASTM Task Group on developing a Standard Guide for Cannabis/Hemp Laboratory Out-of-Specifications (OOS) and Retesting (WK85874) • Jini Glaros, Chief Scientific Officer at Modern Canna Laboratories

Watch the video, read the transcript below, and register here for Cannabis Science Conference Spring 2024! See you in Kansas City, Missouri May 7–9, 2024!


Read the transcript to learn more about Darwin Millard and the ASTM meetings:

Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you become known in the cannabis industry as the “Spock of Cannabis”?

Darwin Millard: I am a consumer first and foremost, and I fell passionately in love with the glandular trichomes of this cannabis plant, and really in making traditional hash or hashish. With that, I took my passion and I turned it into a career, and that's really given me an opportunity to travel the world and work for almost every major publicly traded company in the cannabis space in some form or fashion in their business lifecycle. That’s been just an incredible thing—I wouldn't change that opportunity for the world. Cannabis has given me this chance to explore the development of standards. I became known as the “Spock of Cannabis,” actually, when I started volunteering with ASTM International for Technical Committee D37 on Cannabis, because I ended up telling people what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear in an unapologetic and emotionless manner, which coined me as the “Spock of Cannabis.”

What will you cover in the ASTM subcommittee meeting “Initiative on Equipment & Facility Cleaning”?

Millard: I am currently the Vice Chair for one of ASTM International’s subcommittees. There are 14 of them, so even my brain gets a little jostled with all of these things. The D37.04 on Processing and Handling of Cannabis has launched three initiatives specifically, but then we have two other initiatives that are joint initiatives with two other committees. Pun intended. But this one initiative is specific to equipment and facility cleaning, we really want to understand, “what does clean mean?” and, “How clean is clean?” and, “How do you actually verify that something is clean?” Those are the questions that we're really trying to answer through this initiative. Participants who come to the workshop at the Cannabis Science Conference will really get an opportunity to participate in an ASTM meeting and help us figure out, “well, what does clean mean?” There's going to be some questions there, some things that are going to help us answer that. So that's really what this workshop will be about.

What will be discussed in “Joint ASTM Subcommittee Initiative on Vape Device Safety & Testing”?

Millard: This one's really near and dear to me, since I am a consumer and my preferred mechanism of imbibing is vaping. This one is all about trying to determine the performance characteristics, typography analysis, aerosolized vapor testing, as well as admission (secondhand, thirdhand smoke, that type of stuff), user characterization, really understanding how a consumer actually uses a device so that we can improve typography and performance analysis. So we're really trying to fully understand how to properly test a vape device for safety and quality. It's a joint sub initiative between the D37.03 on laboratory practices and testing, and the D37.08 on personal use devices and appliances. Those two subcommittees are working together to help create these best practices for, again, how to actually characterize and assess the safety and quality of the device itself so we can have better more fit for purpose vaporizer devices in the marketplace. Participants who will join in this workshop will be able to get an opportunity to really sit in on that process, but not just sit in: I'm going to really pester people to participate. I'm really good at making people uncomfortable in that respect. So, I’ll ask hard questions and try to figure out if we can answer any of those. And if we can't, that's okay, too because just having those questions figured out, knowing what questions to ask, can go a long way.

What are you excited to see at Cannabis Science Conference?

Millard: I look forward to the Cannabis Science Conference because of the great talks and it's the level and the caliber of the presentations that you get to experience at the Cannabis Science Conference is one of the main reasons why I'm attending. So I'm looking forward to catching up with colleagues and getting to talk about their latest data.