Workers' Compensation

New Hampshire: High Court Hints that Carriers Might Have to Pay for Medical Marijuana

In a decision that cast some light on the issue of medical marijuana use by workers’ compensation claimants in New Hampshire, but which did not answer all pertinent questions definitively, the state’s Supreme Court held that the Appeals Board erred when it refused to require a workers’ compensation carrier to reimburse an injured worker for the cost of medical marijuana supplied to him under a state-approved program. The Court based its decision on several important points that might vary in other cases. First, the Board found that the medical marijuana use was reasonable and necessary, and the carrier did not appeal that issue. Second, the Board had determined that RSA 126-X:3, III(a)—which generally provides that the state’s medical marijuana laws may not be construed to require any “health insurance provider, health care plan, or medical assistance program to be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the therapeutic use of cannabis.” The high court noted, however, that the statute did not apply to the carrier since workers’ compensation carriers were not specifically protected by the statute. The high court added that the Board had not been sufficiently explicit in stating its alternative reasons for denying the claimant’s request for reimbursement.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Appeal of Andrew Panaggio, N.H. Comp. Appeals Bd., 2019 N.H. LEXIS 35 (Mar. 7, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.06.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see