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Massachusetts: Insurer Need Not Reimburse Injured Worker for Medical Marijuana

November 21, 2020 (1 min read)

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held a workers' compensation insurer need not reimburse an injured employee for the costs of medical marijuana in spite of the fact that the worker was evaluated for, and was issued, a certification to enroll in Massachusetts’s medical marijuana program. Quoting Larson's Workers' Compensation Law, the Court said its decision was in line with most other states that had considered the issue. The Court pointed as well to the fact that marijuana use was still illegal according to federal laws. The Court also indicated the explicit provisions of the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act alleviated insurers from the burden of reimbursing for medical marijuana costs. Nothing in the state's Workers' Compensation Act requiring reimbursement for reasonable and necessary medical expenses could be stretched to require payment by the insurer.

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 Wright’s Case, 486 Mass. 98, 2020 Mass. LEXIS 658 (Oct. 27, 2020)

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

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