An insurer for workers' compensation does not have to reimburse an injured cable installer $ 24,268 in medical cannabis costs for chronic pain relief because the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act says insurers do not have to cover the drug, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
Complainant Daniel Wright, who injured his knee as he stepped out of a ladder in 2010, had appealed a decision by the State Department of Industrial Relations' review board stating the federal government's stance on marijuana – that it is an illegal, controlled substance – prevented insurers from paying the cost, according to documents in In Re Daniel Wright's case filed in Suffolk, Massachusetts.
The Supreme Court concluded that the compensation was hindered by the state's own marijuana. law, as it wrote “was carefully drafted by its sponsors to take into account this most difficult regulatory environment, with special provisions designed to avoid possible conflicts with the federal government. One such provision of the Act expressly states that "nothing in this Act requires any health insurance provider or any authority or authority to reimburse any person for the costs of medical use of marijuana."
"This provision recognizes that when medical marijuana patients seek to recover the costs of such use from third parties, including insurers trading between countries, the regulatory environment becomes even more problematic." Insurers are not required to reimburse medical marijuana costs for a substance which remains illegal under federal law. "