More states are now allowing cannabis with the employee compensation plan


According to an analysis of state guidelines by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a growing number of states are now allowing their medical cannabis-related costs to be reimbursed through their Workers Injury Insurance Plans (WCI).

Federal agency researchers evaluated rules and regulations in 36 states that allow access to medical cannabis. They identified six states – Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York – that explicitly allow employees to get reimbursed for their medical cannabis expenses. In three of these states – New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York – the courts ordered reimbursements earlier this year.

In contrast, the authors identified six states that specifically prohibit workers’ compensation from reimbursing medical marijuana-related costs: Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, and Washington.

In all other jurisdictions, the law is silent on this issue or states that insurers are “not required” to reimburse workers injured at work for the costs related to their use of medicinal cannabis. Arizona could potentially allow medical marijuana through WCI plans.

“For millions of patients, cannabis is a legitimate therapeutic option,” says Sand NORML. “Our laws and regulations recognize this fact more and more and develop their guidelines accordingly.”

The authors said they expected the number of states allowing marijuana-related compensation to increase in the coming years “as more workers seek reimbursement for cannabis WCI from state courts and administrative agencies.”