Pennsylvania Court Joins Several States in Requiring Employers to Reimburse Medical Cannabis


On March 17, 2023, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held, in Fegley v. Firestone Tire & Rubber (Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd.), that workers’ compensation plans must cover cannabis-related expenses when an employee uses it to recover from a workplace-related injury. In reaching this decision the Court reasoned that under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, employees in Pennsylvania possess a statutory right to be reimbursed for medical cannabis expenses that are reasonable and necessary to treat a work injury. Pennsylvania is among several states, including Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York, that have issued similar opinions. Read the court’s opinion here.

Lawmakers in multiple other states have also recently introduced bills relating to mandated coverage of cannabis. For instance, Massachusetts introduced a bill requiring injured employees to be reimbursed for medical cannabis expenses and New York advanced legislation mandating public health insurance providers to treat medical cannabis as a covered prescription drug. While states may have legalized cannabis under state law, federal law still has prohibitions against the use of cannabis. As a result of these court opinions and legislation, states are creating conflicts with federal law, which presents legal risks for employers, and can pose health risks for employees. For more information on the legal risks of cannabinoids for employers, read Aimed Alliance’s fact sheets here.

Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Aimed Alliance


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