The CDC released a video of a webinar from earlier this year addressing cannabis use and workers' compensation. While cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, there are many states that have legalized for medicinal and/or recreational use. There are six states that explicitly exclude cannabis use as treatment in workers' compensation cases. There are others, including California, that allow cannabis as a treatment option. There are five states that require reimbursement for cannabis treatment. In addition to issues regarding how to reimburse or provide cannabis for an injured worker, there is the issue of possible impairment resulting from the usage. At this time there is no threshold of marijuana use that would result in impairment and resulting injuries.
"There's a distinction between allowing cannabis in treating work injuries and reimbursing for the medicinal use of cannabis by the insurer, claims administrator or self-insured employer," Wolf said. "Some courts have allowed the use of cannabis but not have required insurers to reimburse for the use of cannabis."