New Jersey Supreme Courtroom Upholds Staff’ Compensation Order Directing Reimbursement For Medical Marijuana Prices – Employment and HR

United States:

The New Jersey Supreme Court upholds the Workers Compensation Order, which regulates the reimbursement of medical marijuana costs

April 26, 2021

Ballard Spahr LLP

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On April 13, 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously upheld an Appeals Department ruling confirming an employee compensation order ordering M&K Construction to award the running costs of medical marijuana to a former employee, Vincent Hager reimbursement that was prescribed for him after a job. related accident that left him in chronic pain. On appeal, M & K alleged that the Jake Cannabis Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act of New Jersey (“Compassionate Use Act”) was excluded by the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and that compliance with the Workers Compensation Ordinance would expose the company to a potential federal criminal Liability for complicity in civil conspiracy. M&K also argued that medical marijuana could not be reimbursed as appropriate or necessary under the State Employee Compensation Act, and that M&K, as an Employee Compensation Agency, ended up in an exception to the Compassionate Use Act for state medical aid programs or private programs fell health insurers and was therefore under no obligation to reimburse Hager for his marijuana expenses.

The New Jersey Supreme Court disagreed with M&K on every point. The court ruled that M&K does not fall under the limited reimbursement exemption of the Compassionate Use Act as the exemption only applies to government medical assistance programs and private health insurers and does not extend to workers’ compensation funds. The court also ruled that Hager produced enough credible evidence to show that the prescribed medical marijuana was an appropriate and necessary treatment for him under the WCA. In particular, the Court ruled that “medical marijuana, subject to competent medical evidence, constitutes reasonable and necessary care under the state compensation system”. The Court went on to state that “competent evidence of the ability of medical marijuana to restore part of a worker’s function or, as in Hager’s case, to relieve symptoms such as chronic pain or discomfort, is sufficient to make such treatment appropriate.” . “

Finally, the Court interpreted the Congressional fundraising efforts of recent years as a suspension of the application of the CSA to conduct that complies with the Compassionate Use Act. Since Congress has prohibited the DOJ from using funds to intervene in state medical marijuana laws through appropriation riders, there is no positive conflict between the CSA and the Compassionate Use Act. As a result, the Court found that the Compassionate Use Act was not excluded from the CSA and that M&K did not face any credible threat of liability for criminal aids or federal conspiracies. The court ordered M&K to reimburse and be reasonably related to the cost of Hager’s prescribed medical marijuana.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. A professional should be obtained about your particular circumstances.

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