Major players including Canopy Growth and several global accounting firms joined a group which seeks to establish international standards for the industry in areas such as promoting responsible use, environmental protections and corporate governance.

“The hope is that this will be to cannabis what Fair Trade is to coffee,” Lara Wood, chair of the Global Cannabis Partnership advisory board told Bloomberg. The story also suggests creating a set of best practices could also help attract institutional investors such as pension funds, which still largely consider cannabis a vice industry.

Rick Petersen, who wrote the standards, and previously wrote a similar document for the World Lottery Association, said the goal is to create a framework before a scandal forces the industry’s hand.

  • Thus far the standards include guidelines rather than specifics; i.e. the industry will “minimize” greenhouse gas emissions, but it does not provide targets.
  • The certification process is being developed in partnership with global accountancy EY, a founding member of the group. Certification will be granted by an independent evaluation panel.
  • The group’s 45 member companies include 16 “founding” members. The latter include Canadian producers Canopy and Aphria, and the accounting firm PWC.