States examine impact of marijuana on composition and injuries

State courts continue to question whether employers and insurers should reimburse marijuana in workers’ compensation and how a positive marijuana test can impact accident compensation, says a published legislative update Friday by the National Insurance Compensation Board.

As of early 2021, Connecticut, New Mexico, New York and Virginia have legalized recreational marijuana – and legislation is pending in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, the NCCI-based NCCI said. Boca Raton, Florida. Alabama also recently passed a law allowing the medical use of marijuana – making the medicinal use of the drug legal in 36 states and in Washington, DC.However, lawmakers in Alabama passed another law that specifically exempts workers’ compensation from reimbursement for medical marijuana use.

A pervasive issue is reimbursement for medical marijuana in compounding, and state courts continue to be divided, with courts in New Jersey and New York having ruled that employers and insurers could be required to reimburse injured workers. for medical marijuana, and the New Hampshire high court ruled that reimbursement for medical marijuana does not violate federal controlled substances law. The courts in Arkansas and Massachusetts have ruled otherwise, according to the NCCI.

Pending legislation in several states could clarify payments for medical marijuana in the compensation system, with Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska and Pennsylvania considering legislation that would not require the compensation system to reimburse the drug, while as lawmakers in New Jersey and New York introduced the bill. that would make medical marijuana a covered drug.

States are also considering legislation regarding workers’ compensation if workers test positive for marijuana, with laws in Alabama, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota, stating that workers whose the test is positive are not allowed to test positive, with most laws making certain exceptions for prescribed medical marijuana.

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