Congressional committee urges federal agencies to study state marijuana laws and reconsider cannabis use policies for government workers

A GOP-controlled House committee is calling on federal agencies to examine state marijuana regulatory frameworks and further consider federal hiring guidelines related to the use of cannabis by candidates living in states where it is legal.

The House Appropriations Committee included two marijuana sections in a report accompanying the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) spending bill for 2025. The core funding provisions released last week by the FSGG subcommittee also omit the multi-year clause blocking Washington from legalizing cannabis sales and include limited banking protections for marijuana.

In a new report, released Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s full committee vote, one section directs the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade Tax Bureau (TTB) to examine the “adequacy” of the state’s cannabis regulatory framework, including enforcement and oversight policies. The office would also have to work with other agencies to develop recommendations for improving data sharing at the state and federal levels, with a mandate to report overall findings to lawmakers within one year of enactment.

“The Cannabis Regulatory Framework. The Committee notes that more than 20 states and territories currently allow the use of cannabis for adults, while more than 35 states and territories allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. The Committee directs the TTB, in coordination with the Department and other agencies that may have relevant regulatory expertise, to coordinate an assessment of the adequacy of State marijuana regulatory frameworks, including commonalities and novel approaches to enforcement and oversight. The assessment includes recommendations to improve data sharing and coordination between state and federal authorities. The Department shall report to the Commission on the results of the evaluation within one year of the entry into force of this Act.”

This provision could help prepare a separate, stand-alone bill sponsored by Republican Dave Joyce (R-OH), chairman of the FSGG House Appropriations Subcommittee.

The measure – titled the Effective Regulatory Preparedness for the Post-Prohibition Adult-Use Regulated Environment Act (PREPARE) Act – would direct the attorney general to create a commission tasked with making recommendations for a cannabis regulatory regime that models what currently applies to cannabis. alcohol.

The House passed an appropriations package for the current fiscal year that included report language that would similarly direct the Justice Department to study the state’s marijuana regulatory framework, but it was not included in the final package that passed.

Joyce, co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, previously tried to add this language to another report on the spending bill, proposing an alternative version that would prompt the White House to work with other agencies to evaluate the state’s cannabis regulatory framework. The Appropriations Committee then rejected the congressman’s amendment.

Another section of the FSGG’s 2025 report states that the commission “supports” the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) efforts to update federal hiring standards related to past marijuana use. He also wants the office to “continue to review these policies and guidelines regarding the hiring and firing of individuals who use marijuana in states where state law does not prohibit the individual from using marijuana for personal purposes.”

“Federal Qualifications or Hiring Proficiency. The Committee supports updated guidance for agencies to consider how an individual’s use of marijuana may or may not adversely affect the integrity or effectiveness of the Federal government or affect the individual’s suitability or suitability for a position. The Committee encourages the OPM Director, acting as the Executive Agent for Suitability, to continue to review these policies and guidelines regarding the hiring and firing of individuals who use marijuana in states where the individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited by state law. These rules should reflect current developments in marijuana law and clearly outline how agencies will evaluate the employment impacts of marijuana use at the federal level.

Similar sections have been considered by the committee in the past but have not yet come into force.

OPM first announced in 2022 that it intends to expand its applicant pool to include qualified federal workers and acknowledge what it calls “changing social norms” amid the state-level legalization movement. The following year, she asked the White House for approval of proposed changes to federal hiring practices that would treat applicants’ past marijuana use much more leniently than the current policy.

Meanwhile, Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC) said last week that he is “overwhelmingly concerned” about provisions in the spending bill that would provide protections for marijuana-related banking, and he is threatening to table an amendment to remove the language as progress is made on basic appropriations, potentially at the committee’s full margin from Thursday.

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