The New Jersey State Assembly on March 8, 2022, introduced A3511 that would require workers’ compensation carriers, private health, and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover the cost of medical marijuana. This bill is similar to the previously introduced bill A1708 that we reported on in November 2020. You can view that WG Alert here.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has already held in Hager v. M&K Construction, 462 N.J. Super. 146 (App. Div. 2020), cert. granted, 241 N.J. 484 (2020) that a workers’ compensation carrier is responsible for the cost of an injured workers’ medical marijuana if found reasonable and necessary to treat their pain. In that case, the court specifically addressed the issue of a conflict with federal law or the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) and held that requiring a workers’ compensation carrier to reimburse an injured worker for the cost would not place them in violation of the CSA.
We will keep you apprised of any developments regarding this bill.