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SD-ASTM 2024 Scholarship Recipients

Updated: Jan 2

Empower. Innovate. Lead. Solvent Direct—Your Partner in Shaping Industry Excellence.


Empower. Innovate. Lead. Solvent Direct—Your Partner in Shaping Industry Excellence.

In the emerging landscape of extraction regulation, the development of industry standards isn't just necessary—it's a commitment. Solvent Direct, a leader in extraction lab supply, recognizes the critical need for real-world experience and perspective in shaping industry standards for extraction.


To foster the creation of fair and practical standards used to regulate the industry, The Solvent Direct ASTM Scholarship Program stands as a commitment to empowering the trailblazers, pioneers, and industry leaders who built the business of extracts. This wisdom and experience must be recognized, acknowledged and heard in order to shape future of extraction standards and regulation.


Solvent Direct has tapped into its network of skilled clients from across the US, bringing a practical, real-world dimension to the standards development at ASTM International D37. The scholarship program is a way of empowering talented extractors to actively participate in this evolution, ensuring that regulatory standards reflect the unique expertise and industry experience defining our field. 


Solvent Direct Announces 2024 Recipients of the SD-ASTM International Scholarships.


John Vitale, Strong John Extracts and Cruz Science

John "Strong John" Vitale - Cannabis Extraction Pioneer


Hailing from Long Beach, California, John "Strong John" Vitale stands as an industry veteran with well over a decade of expertise in cannabis extraction. Recognized for producing some of the highest quality extracts in California, Strong John is not just an extraction professional, but a figurehead in the California cannabis community.


At the helm of Strong John Extracts and Cruz Science, John channels his 15+ years of experience into a relentless pursuit of excellence. His commitment extends beyond creating exceptional products; it's deeply ingrained in the community he serves. From charity drives to natural disaster relief aid, Strong John is a force for positive change. In his role as Chief Scientist at Strong John, he is not just a leader; he's an artisan. John pours his heart into every batch, aiming to create the most delicious and satisfying cannabis extracts. 


Top shelf extracts from Strong John with Solvent Direct.

Beyond his work at Strong John, John "Strong John" Vitale is driven to contribute on a broader scale. He actively collaborates with industry leaders and organizations, notably working alongside Solvent Direct, where he has been a vital part of staying at the forefront of industry advancements. This collaboration allows him to dig deep into industry-wide issues and play a pivotal role in establishing solutions that benefit the entire cannabis community.


As John contemplates the next stage of his professional growth, he expresses gratitude for the support and contributions of his team and acknowledges the role of organizations like Solvent Direct and ASTM in facilitating his journey. With a legacy of innovation, community service, and unwavering commitment, John "Strong John" Vitale is excited to work with ASTM D37 to help shape the future of cannabis extracts standards and regulation.


Strong John Extracts and Cruz Science proudly produced in Santa Cruz, California with Solvent Direct.

Zackary Halter - Lab Director at Noble Nectar, Noble, Oklahoma 


Noble Nectar Diamonds extracted with Solvent Direct.

Zackary Halter, the Lab Director at Noble Nectar, is a driving force behind some of the finest extracts in Oklahoma with his commitment to delivering high-quality cannabis concentrates to patients in the state. Noble Nectar, a family-owned and operated business which prides itself on providing top-tier, clean cannabis concentrates.


Under Zackary's lab direction, he has propelled Noble Nectar to numerous accolades, including being the 1st Place Cowboy Cup Winner in 2020 and 2023, LeafLink List Winner for Fastest Growing Concentrate Company in 2020, and various awards in 2021 and 2022 for product quality, facility excellence, and overall brand recognition. Zackary's commitment to excellence, safety, and innovation continues to define Noble Nectar's success in the cannabis industry.


Zackary Halter of Noble Nectar celebrating Cowboy Cup Award-Winning Extracts in Oklahoma.

In December 2023, Zackary emphasized Noble Nectar's dedication to maintaining industry-leading standards by only using the highest purity inputs available for his process. Zackary selected Solvent Direct as the chosen LPG distributor for Noble Nectar, citing the company's unmatched high standards in the industry. His testimonial highlighted the challenges faced with other distributors, including encountering the notorious Medusa gas, which adversely affected the extraction process, compromised safety, and hindered the quality of the final product.


Zackary is looking forward to working with ASTM D37 to contribute some of the operational ethos with which Noble Nectar has found great success over the years.


Noble Nectar Drizzle Line produced with Solvent Direct.

Safety: Prioritizing hazard training, awareness, and operator training to ensure the safety of personnel and operations. Clean Concentrates: Acknowledging that quality concentrates begin with consistent quality gas, underscoring the importance of clean, high-purity gas in the cannabis industry. Lab Hygiene and Extraction Methods: Ensuring the highest standards in lab hygiene and extraction methods for optimal results. Efficiency & Speed: Striving for efficiency and speed in the extraction process to meet demands and maintain quality.



James Senko - Leading the Charge in Extraction Innovation


James Senko of Astra Cannabis extracting some of Oregon's finest with Solvent Direct.

James Senko, a seasoned professional at the forefront of the Oregon extraction market has been leading the charge in extraction for over 14 years. Working with high purity lab supply from Solvent Direct, James has played a pivotal role in elevating Astra Cannabis to new heights, producing some of the most sought-after extracts in the Oregon market.


James is not just a practitioner; he is a passionate advocate for advancing the state of the art in cannabis extraction. His commitment goes beyond personal success — he envisions setting industry standards before regulators dictate them. According to James, collaborative efforts are paramount to enhancing the cannabis industry for both professionals and consumers. In his view, working collectively to improve standards is not just a strategy; it's the way forward.


Boasting 14 years of hands-on experience in cannabis extraction, James brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. His journey has not only given him technical expertise but also a deep understanding of the industry's evolution. This experience uniquely positions James to contribute significantly to the ongoing progress and innovation within the cannabis extraction landscape.


James Senko of Astra Cannabis is no stranger to producing top shelf extracts with Solvent Direct.

James Senko's dedication to industry advancement extends beyond his professional endeavors. Eager to foster growth and knowledge dissemination, James is seeking an ASTM D37 scholarship. By pursuing this opportunity, he aims to further enhance the extraction industry and contribute even more meaningfully to the industry's development.


As an individual committed to pushing boundaries, setting standards, and promoting collaboration, James Senko is a driving force in shaping the future of cannabis extraction. His vision for a proactive and cooperative approach to industry improvement exemplifies the kind of leadership needed for sustainable growth and excellence.


Solvent Direct ASTM Scholarship Award Recipient Nick Montoya of Quantum Labs in New Mexico leading the cannabis extraction industry.
Nick Montoya, Owner & Founder, Quantum Labs

Nick Montoya - Owner & Founder, Quantum Labs


Nick Montoya is a dedicated professional driven by a profound passion for crafting high-quality extracts for those in need and advancing the frontiers of cannabis research and development. Based in New Mexico, Nick currently serves as the Owner and Founder of Quantum Labs, where he brings his expertise to the forefront of the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.


Nick thrives in an environment of collaboration and cutting-edge technology, values he has embedded into Quantum Labs. As the Founder and sole investor in one of New Mexico’s leading extraction companies, Nick has ensured that Quantum Labs remains a hub for innovation, free from external constraints. His eagerness to contribute to ASTM D37, with his proactive approach and genuine enthusiasm for collaboration underscores his commitment to the vision of pushing the industry forward without compromise.


Quantum Labs' Sunset Paradise proudly extracted with Solvent Direct in New Mexico.

A true industry advocate, Nick's ultimate life goal is to leave a lasting impact on the cannabis extraction landscape. With almost 10 years of experience extracting and a life threatening experience with an explosion inside of an extraction facility, Nick envisions a future where extraction facilities nationwide are not only at the forefront of innovation but are also 100% safe for employees. Nick not only voices this commitment but actively desires an opportunity to invest his own time and resources to implement and lead by example in ASTM D37.


With a relentless pursuit of excellence, a collaborative spirit, and an unwavering commitment to safety and innovation, Nick Montoya stands as a driving force in the cannabis industry, shaping a future where Quantum Labs plays a pivotal role in the evolution of safe safe standards for cannabis extraction.



Solvent Direct is Shaping Tomorrow's Extraction Standards, Today.


Solvent Direct is at the center of the cannabis industry ensuring access to safe lab supply specifically for extraction.

These esteemed scholarship recipients have been granted participating membership to ASTM International. This membership isn't just a recognition of their expertise; it's a vote to the key decisions in which regulators, policymakers, and industry visionaries collaborate in shaping the future of cannabis manufacturing. Through active participation in ASTM International D37, our recipients will bring invaluable real-world experience to the development of international standards.


Solvent Direct remains committed to fostering excellence, innovation, and collaboration in the extraction industry. We congratulate our scholarship recipients for their exceptional contributions and look forward to witnessing the impact of their real-world experience on the international standards that will shape the future of safe cannabis manufacturing.


Empower. Innovate. Lead. Solvent Direct—Your Partner in Shaping Industry Excellence.


More about ASTM D37


ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis was formed in 2017 to develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes. The activities are focused on meeting the needs of the cannabis industry addressing quality and safety through the development of voluntary consensus standards and supplementary programs on proficiency testing, training and certification. Subcommittees will focus on the development of test methods, practices and guides for cultivation, quality assurance, laboratory considerations, industrial hemp, devices, packaging and security.



Committee Scope


The development and maintenance of standards and guidance materials for cannabis and its products and processes. The work of this committee will be coordinated with other ASTM committees and other organizations having mutual interest.


The Committee meets two times a year in person and throughout the year virtually to engage in standards development. D37 has 9 technical subcommittees to develop and maintain standards. The Committee, with a membership of 900 members from 30 countries, has its standards published in the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Volume 15.10. Information on this subcommittee structure and D37's portfolio of approved standards and Work Items under construction are available from the List of Subcommittees, Standards and Work Items below.


Committee Officers


  • Vice-Chair: David A. Vaillencourt

  • Membership Secretary: Ed Nodland

  • Administrative Assistant: Elizabeth Lees

  • Staff Manager: Jimmy E. Farrell

  • Chair: Kathleen A. May

  • Editor: Robert Boileau

  • Recording Secretary: Terry Grajczyk


More about Solvent Direct



Large Enough to Serve, Small Enough to care.


With unwavering commitment to industry-specific purity standards and unparalleled logistical expertise, our mission is to address the most stringent customer requirements of quality, value, and service. We stand as a trusted partner, ensuring the timely delivery of the lab supply extractors need, precisely when they need it. Through unwavering dedication to excellence, we strive to meet and exceed the expectations of our valued clientele, providing unparalleled solutions in extraction lab supply. 


To learn more about how you can get involved with ASTM D37 for the future of Extraction standards and regulation, please contact our friendly staff at 1-833-PURE-GAS or by filling out our contact form at www.solventdirect.com.



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