FOCUS Standards Development Process

The FOCUS Standards Development Process is the cornerstone of the organization and ensures that all standards are developed in a methodical, documented and transparent way, and affected stakeholders have the opportunity to participate.

Balanced Stakeholder Input

FOCUS applies American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Essential Requirements of Balanced Stakeholder Input Process to develop transparent, comprehensive, impartial, accredited standards. FOCUS achieves impartial input by creating balanced committees of volunteers, collecting and evaluating their input, and gaining consensus for each standard.

The ANSI Essential Requirements assure impartiality and transparency in the development process and create standards suitable for accreditation and adoption into regulations.

Inclusion: Diverse stakeholders participate openly in the development process.

Voluntary Consensus: Committees of volunteers develop each area of the standard, offering their unique expertise to reach consensus on intention and content.

Lack of Dominance: No party has dominant representation or influence that exclude the fair and equitable consideration of other viewpoints.

Standards Development Committees

Our volunteer standard development subcommittees form the core of the standards development process. Members bring experience and knowledge from industry, regulatory, quality assurance, medical, law enforcement, research, engineering, science, manufacturing, consumers, and patient management to ensure impartial, comprehensive voluntary conformance standards.

Committee participation is open to individuals who align with the FOCUS mission and bring relevant experience and skill along with the spirit and willingness to participate. Members can help develop initial standards development and/or participate in ongoing standards maintenance.

Committee Charters

FOCUS Standards development committees are comprised of leaders in their vocations who bring expertise and diversity to produce the balanced input required to develop accredited international voluntary consensus standards. Each member signs a charter to willingly share their knowledge in the spirit of improving public health and consumer safety, protecting the environment and promoting integrity within the cannabis industry. By volunteering their knowledge and time generously, they instill impartiality, ensure comprehensive content and offer practical guidance.

Committee Methods

The Standards Director interviews each prospective committee member after submitting a professional biography for review. When applicable, other FOCUS staff or the committee chair is included in the interview. After review and approval by the standards director and others involved, the committee member signs the committee charter and a non-disclosure agreement and is added to appropriate committee roster and the FOCUS website.

Each committee has a chairperson and a secretary; the teams meet virtually via conference call at the frequency determined by the standards director and chairperson. Calls are recorded and draft standards are updated and circulated for input prior to the next meeting.

Once the committee draft standard is final, it undergoes technical editing and review, public review, and final committee and standards director approval. Once approved, the standard is added to the digital distribution system and communicated to all stakeholders.

New Development Committees Forming in 2017

FOCUS is collaborating with ASTM on furthering the development of globally harmonized cannabis standards. To get involved, please click here.