State courts continue to contend over whether employers and insurance companies must replace marijuana in employee compensation and how a positive marijuana test can affect accident compensation, according to a legislative update released Friday by the National Council on Compensation Insurance.  Since the beginning of 2021, Connecticut, New Mexico, New York and Virginia have legalized recreational marijuana – and legislation is underway in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin, says Boca Raton, NCCI in Florida. Alabama also recently passed a law allowing the use of medical marijuana – making medical use of the drug legal in 36 states and Washington, DC. Alabama lawmakers, however, passed another law that specifically exempts workers' compensation from compensation for the use of medical marijuana. [1
Legislation pending in several states may clarify payments for medical marijuana in the comp system, with Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska and Pennsylvania considering legislation that would not require the comp system. to replace the drug, while lawmakers in New Jersey and New York have introduced the bill that would make medical marijuana a covered drug in composition.
States also consider legislation on compensation for a workplace accident if workers test positive for marijuana, with laws in Alabama, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota stating that workers who test positive are not entitled to compensation, with most laws that do some exceptions for prescribed medical marijuana.