Should medical marijuana be covered by workers’ comp?

Should medical marijuana be covered by workers’ comp? | Insurance Business

Should medical marijuana be covered by workers’ comp?


Michael Aberle
“Cannabis cannot be prescribed; currently it can only be recommended by a physician. Should this situation change, it could drive up the price of the product and potentially strengthen the black market. It also opens the door for Big Pharma to take over distribution.

The bottom line: If cannabis or CBD products minimize opioid use and help injured workers manage their health better than other drugs, or can even return them to the workforce more quickly, then I don’t see why the government, at a minimum, should not add the product to the list of drugs a doctor can prescribe.”




Jaime Lewis
“Cannabis is a medicine. Workers’ compensation insurance should treat it as such. Twenty-nine states have legalized medical cannabis, and 16 others allow for cannabis-derived cannabidiol [CBD].

What’s more, cannabis is a proven alternative to more expensive and dangerous treatments. Studies show that painkiller prescriptions and opioid deaths are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. In Colorado, there’s no evidence that workplace accidents increased after the state legalized adult-use cannabis. Cannabis’ Schedule I classification complicates matters. That’s why we have to reform federal cannabis laws for employers and employees alike.”




Ian Stewart
“Several states require insurers to reimburse claimants for medical marijuana treatment, despite the federal government’s designation of cannabis as a Schedule I substance. In states where medical marijuana is legal, courts have deferred to a medical professional’s judgment regarding treatment.

Insurance companies have reporting requirements when accepting premiums from marijuana-related entities. A carrier’s decision to provide services to a marijuanarelated business is dependent on several factors. Carriers should institute reporting protocols under applicable federal regulations and consider conducting statespecific customer due diligence.”