New Law Clarifies Medical Marijuana Insurance Requirements

Workers’ compensation carriers and self-insurers will not be required to pay for a patient’s medical marijuana under a new bill Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law Monday.

The state’s more than 63,000 holders of medical marijuana cards will still be allowed to purchase their own cannabis, but the law removes the requirement that workers’ compensation carriers and self-insurers reimburse patients for medical marijuana.

The law is similar to protections already in place for federal and private insurers under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Marijuana advocates say the bill limits access, which they say is a healthier alternative to opioid-based painkillers such as hydrocodone. Supporters say there are technical issues that would make it difficult to reimburse patients for medicinal marijuana.

The Arizona Self-Insurers Association said it initially interpreted the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act to include workers’ compensation carriers and self-insurers, but it became concerned after a court of appeals upheld...

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