One Step Closer to Third Party Reimbursement of Medical Cannabis for Patients

Vincent Hager v. M&K Construction

This is history in the making! The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a patient being reimbursed for their medical cannabis through workman’s compensation. Some highlighted excerpts that I am ecstatic to see on public record:

3) …”Competent medical testimony that a particular treatment or service will reduce symptoms or restore function is sufficient to satisfy the requirement of reasonable and necessary care.”…

4) …”Identifying medical marijuana and opioids as the two treatment options available, the court concluded, after thoughtful consideration of the medical testimony discussing the risks and benefits of each, that marijuana was ‘the clearly indicated option.'”…

10) …”Qualified patients may continue to possess and use medical marijuana, and related compensation orders may be entered while federal authorities continue to enforce the CSA to the extent Congress permits. The federal and state acts can thus consistently stand together, and it is possible […] to comply with both.”…

The implications/questions that I pose:

  • Is this enough legal precedence for medical cannabis patients across state lines to also start consideration of pursuing workman’s compensation claims?
  • The type of compensation structure that is decided for the patient will have a huge impact for the future. With medical cannabis as a highly individualized (and sometimes costly) therapy, would 3rd parties benefit or lose from reimbursing based on a fixed cost calculated from an average of the patient’s consumption habits and expenses?
  • Can it eventually shift to a more familiar pharmacy billing model involving no initial out-of-pocket expenses for the patient and instead a back-end reimbursement directly to an accredited medical dispensary for data-backed products produced from cGMP processors with standardized lab results? That’s what an established medical cannabis industry looks like to me!!

Either way, this is a step in the right direction! Proud of my Garden State.

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