January 30, 2023


CPEAR Releases Policy Recommendations to Address Cannabis Testing Issues in America’s Workforce 


WASHINGTON, D.C.Today, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), released a policy paper, “A Science- and Equity-Centered Framework to Reimagine Workplace Cannabis Testing.” The paper explores the fundamental inaccuracies in the current testing systems and provides recommendations to address this unique challenge for America’s workforce. 

Because cannabis is considered a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, it may be legal in certain states, while still illegal at the federal level. This inconsistent patchwork creates confusion and a lack of clear guidance for employers and employees regarding cannabis use in the workplace,” said CPEAR executive director Andrew Freedman.  

Employers are struggling to navigate the lack of federal regulation and create policies that balance the rights of employees who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, with the need to maintain a safe and productive workplace. On the other hand, American workers are at risk of losing their jobs or facing discrimination due to their cannabis use, even if it is legal in their state and they are using it for medicinal purposes. This can lead to financial instability and a lack of access to health care for those who need it the most.”  

To further explain the paper’s findings, CPEAR hosted a virtual roundtable with industry experts entitled, “Reimagining Workplace Cannabis Testing.” Click here to watch the roundtable. 

CPEAR’s policy recommendations for workplace testing include:

  • Assess the degree to which understudied factors impact the risk of cannabis-related impairment; 
  • Investigate valid and reliable alternative methods that assess impairment regardless of the source; 
  • Evaluate the weaknesses in the current workplace testing science and technology, governments and employers, particularly large private employers, are well-positioned for this;
  • Create a clearinghouse of best practices and the latest data from both government organizations and the private sector;
  • Respond to the reality of state-level cannabis reform. The U.S. Department of Labor must acknowledge the current landscape and adapt workplace safety policies accordingly;
  • Promulgate regulations that require employers to report de-identified workplace drug testing punishments.


Click here for a briefer on the paper.


Read the full paper here.



About the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation 

A 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) works to advance comprehensive policy solutions for cannabis regulation. The Coalition strives to be a trusted, science-driven resource for lawmakers and the larger stakeholder community, developing responsible policies that protect consumers and patients, prevent underage use, uphold public health and safety, and promote social equity. Comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders, the Coalition brings unique perspectives to the table to thoughtfully address what a federally regulated cannabis industry should look like. To learn more, visit www.CPEAR.org and follow us on Twitter.