Recently two petitions went before the Supreme Court, both covering states that did not want to cover medical cannabis in workers compensation claims.
States tend to make the argument that the request to be reimbursed for medical marijuana violates federal law.
Here in New Jersey, courts have already ruled that workers compensation should cover medical cannabis. The case was settled in Hagar vs. MSK Construction. The cases the Supreme Court passed on came out of Minnesota and New Mexico.
Prior to declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court consulted with the Department of Justice. The DoJ urged the Supreme Court to stay out of it.
What does it mean that the Supreme Court won’t hear the cases?
It doesn’t mean anything for your New Jersey workers compensation benefits if medical marijuana is part of your treatment plan.
If the Supreme Court had heard the case it might have secured cannabis as a covered right for all 50 states, but in this case it also shuts down the possibility that New Jersey might have the court’s backing to stop covering the treatment.
NJ A1708, a bill that would absolutely require New Jersey workers compensation and personal injury protection (PIP) to cover medical marijuana remains in committee, where it’s been since 10/26/2020. It is unclear whether it will pass any time soon. Nevertheless, the state court ruling is likely to stand as precedent if companies challenge your right to be reimbursed for the use of medical marijuana in the future.
Will medical marijuana be part of your workers compensation claim?
You should not be afraid to talk to your doctor about medical marijuana if you believe it would be helpful to your recovery. You also should not be afraid to discuss medical marijuana with your workers compensation attorney.
If your company’s workers compensation insurance company balks at paying the claim we can help educate them about the state of current case law and on the most recent research. Research shows that employee claims are shorter when they have access to medical marijuana; reimbursing the expense benefits them, as well as you.
Having trouble with any part of your workers compensation claim?
Don’t wait. Reach out to Talone Law to get help today.