The regulatory and legal landscape for medical marijuana continues to change, and many questions remain unanswered as we approach 2023. Several states have ruled that medical marijuana is a reasonable and necessary treatment for work-related injuries, including neuropathy, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Arizona Bill Focuses On Marijuana Testing For Consumer Protection.
However, some states are still waiting for the Supreme Court to provide judicial guidance. Even though marijuana is considered a Schedule I illegal drug under the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), employers/insurance companies are required to pay medical marijuana costs for injured workers. It remains a mystery as to whether there is.
Various State Regulations
Under Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), shippers are not required to pay for medical marijuana for injured workers. Section 2102 of the MMA states, “No provision of this Act shall be construed to require an insurance company or health plan to provide medical marijuana coverage, whether paid for by federal funds or private funds. ‘.
A dilemma arises when an insurance company agrees (although not required) to reimburse employees for the cost of medical marijuana.
Do They Violate Federal CSA?
In answering the above question, Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers Paper 187 A.3d 10 (2018), the Maine Supreme Court ruled that if employers are required to subsidize medical marijuana for injured workers, It ruled that there was a conflict between state and federal law and that CSA prevailed over state health care laws.
The Maine Supreme Court further argued that if an employer complied with a court order to subsidize medical marijuana, it would be involved in conduct that met the elements of aiding and abetting a crime and would be subject to penalties under the CSA.
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