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Comp Payers in the Weeds on Dosage, Payments For Medical Pot

They are grappling with questions for which they have no guidance

With the surge in states permitting the use of medical marijuana, workers' compensation payers are forced to grapple with questions for which they have limited or no guidance, including how much cannabis treatments should cost, what the proper dosages are and how marijuana usage will be monitored, experts say.

In the most recent legislative activity, a bill in Maryland — S.B. 854 — passed the state’s Senate on Monday and is now heading to its House of Delegates for consideration, while Hawaiian lawmakers in February tabled both S.B. 1523 and H.B. 1534 — identical bills proposed in January that were opposed by insurance groups.

In the courts, the outcome of disputes regarding the compensability of medical marijuana for pain treatment for injured workers has been mixed. In 2018, the New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation in a ruling directed comp payers to cover marijuana for injured workers. In Maine in 2017, the state Supreme Court ruled the opposite. More recently, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire on March 8 ruled that a workers compensation appeals board erred when it denied medical marijuana reimbursement for an injured worker, remanding the case back to the lower court.

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