As of 1/13/20, you as an employee may collect reimbursements from your employer for the costs of your medical marijuana that is used as a treatment for a work-related injury under Hager v. M & R Construction, 2020 WL 218390 (App. Div.) Under Hager, a man who was working construction suffered herniated and bulging disks in his back and required pain medication to help him deal with the aches and pain he was facing as a result of the injury. Medical marijuana was eventually prescribed to him instead of opioids, and the much less addictive marijuana helped tremendously. However, because of this pain the man was spending about $616 per month to get his pain alleviating marijuana.
Therefore, under his Workers Compensation award, the Appellate Judge held that the employer shall reimburse the man and that the costs of the marijuana did not violate the Federal Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 841) because the employer would not be possessing, manufacturing, or distributing the marijuana but only reimbursing the cost to petitioner.
The court also determined that the petitioner’s use of medical marijuana has permitted him to get off opioids and “that achievement, by itself, in light of the opioid crisis in existence today, should suffice as a rationale for the reimbursement of medical marijuana.”