Increasing Rights: Osterlund Benefits for the Undocumented Individual & Medical Marijuana Benefits

The Connecticut workers’ compensation system is designed to assist the injured worker when claiming a valid and compensable injury. Over the years, the rights of the injured worker have been expanded, amended, and challenged. Recently, two Connecticut Review Board (CRB) decisions increased those rights once again.

Medical marijuana use has been legalized in several states; however, it is not federally legalized, which causes various issues. In Connecticut, recreational marijuana use is still illegal, while medical marijuana for certain conditions (i.e., chronic back pain, anxiety, etc.) …

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Recreational Marijuana and Workers’ Compensation: What Employers Need to Know

With the impending legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois on January 1, 2020, employers are abuzz about the potential implications on their operations, particularly how legalization impacts alleged work injuries. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employees found intoxicated at the time of an accident are denied compensation if the intoxication was the proximate cause of the injury or if the employee was so intoxicated it constituted a departure from the employment. 820 ILCS 305/11.

The act already considers evidence of intoxication from the use …

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Maryland Legislature Says “Yea” To Additional Medical Presumptions, “Nay” To Medical Cannabis Reform in Workers’ Compensation Cases

The 2019 Maryland legislative session only produced one substantive law change that impacts the Maryland Workers’ Compensation framework. Additionally, two bills that did not get passed also sent conspicuous messages to practitioners within the bar.

The lone bill implicating Maryland Workers’ Compensation that was passed into Law is House Bill 595, which was approved by Governor Larry Hogan on April 30, 2019. The bill serves as an amendment to Labor & Employment Article Section 9-503 which addresses medical presumptions in workers’ compensation cases. Specifically, the …

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“You Can’t Get There From Here”: Maine Supreme Court Says Compelling Medical Marijuana Coverage Conflicts with Federal Law

Recently, the Maine Supreme Court issued a decision that surprised workers’ compensation professionals across the country. In Bourgoin v. Twin Rivers, 2018 ME 77, 2018 WL 2976309 (June 14, 2018), the court decided that a workers’ compensation carrier cannot be compelled to subsidize a claimant’s medicinal marijuana treatment. In that case, the claimant received a certification under the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MMUMA) for the use of medicinal marijuana to treat work-related injuries. The court determined that requiring the carrier to subsidize …

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Cross-Border Implications of the Canadian Cannabis Act in New York Workers’ Compensation Law

The rapid evolution of both medical and recreational marijuana creates unique issues for employers and insurers. Although this may be a statement of the obvious, it is especially true in New York, a state which shares a 445-mile border with Canada.

Recreational marijuana may soon be legal in Canada, after its Legislature approved the Cannabis Act in June of this year. The proposed law would make it legal for anyone over the age of 18 to possess marijuana in limited quantities. It also allows Canadians …

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“New York State of Mind”- Altering Substances: Carriers Must Now Reimburse Claimants for Medical Marijuana

On June 4, 2018, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board in Our Lady Victory of Homes officially directed a carrier to reimburse a claimant for medical marijuana expenses. G085 6672, 2018 WL 2752819 (N.Y. Work. Comp. Bd. June 4, 2018). This decision has been in the making since February of this year, when the board panel found in WDF Inc. that reimbursement is proper if the medical provider requests a variance from the Medical Treatment Guidelines (MTG). G140 3803, 2018 WL 1723750 (N.Y. Work. Comp. …

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Will the Recently Issued Sessions Memorandum Have a Chilling Effect on States’ Plan for Legalization of Medical and Recreational Marijuana?

During the Obama administration, a memorandum issued by then deputy attorney general James M. Cole in 2013 dealt with the issue of federal prosecution of alleged crimes involving marijuana in states where it was a legal substance either for medical use, recreational use, or both. The memo seems to grant broad latitude to exercise prosecutorial discretion in states where marijuana had been legalized. The memo was interpreted as a hands-off edict rather than the guidance it was supposed to embody.

For several years, the states …

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Leafing Through Medicinal Marijuana Updates

Since the spring of 2017, there has been an addition to the list of qualifying conditions eligible for medical marijuana. There has also been an increase in the number of patients and providers eligible and registered under the program. This post will serve as an update on the issue and how to “weed” through the options for denials in New York State workers’ compensation claims.

The most recent list of medical providers for medicinal marijuana can be found here.

Currently, there are 35 …

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“High Anxiety” for Carriers: Medical Marijuana Progressing in New York

For New York workers’ compensation carriers, the budding industry of medical marijuana will likely provide an interesting new set of challenges and concerns in the administration of treatment for eligible patients and injured workers.

The growing trend across the United States has recently been towards expansion of medical marijuana programs — and as of March 31, 2017, approximately 28 states, including New York, have legalized some form of medical marijuana usage. New York’s Compassionate Care Act specifically details that patients with specified conditions (cancer, HIV …

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Medical Marijuana Found Compensable in Connecticut

The Compensation Review Board (CRB) in Connecticut found medical marijuana to be reasonable and necessary medical treatment, and thus, compensable in Petrini v. Marcus Dairy, Inc., 6021 CRB-7-15-7 (May 12, 2016). It is black letter law that “reasonable and necessary” medical care is curative or remedial. “Curative or remedial care is that which seeks to repair the damage to health caused by the job even if not enough health is restored to enable the employee to return to work. Any therapy designed to keep …

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