Medical Marijuana and it's impact on Ohio's Bureau of Workers Compensation

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Ohio Medical Marijuana and it's


The impact of the new law on the Bureau of Workers Compensation and its programs is limited. It does not adversely affect the Drug-free Safety Program, will not require BWC to pay for patient access to marijuana, and expressly states that an employee under the influence of marijuana is not
covered by workers’ compensation.



  1. Nothing in the law requires an employer to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana;
  2. The law does NOT prohibit an employer from refusing to hire, discharging, or taking an adverse employment action because of a person’s use of medical marijuana;
  3. The law specifies that marijuana is covered under “rebuttable presumption.” In general, this means that an employee whose injury was the result of being intoxicated or under the influence of marijuana is not eligible for workers’ compensation. This is the case regardless of whether the marijuana use is recommended by a physician;
  4. While the law does not specifically address reimbursement for medical marijuana recommended for injured workers, Ohio law already has rules and statutes in place that limit what medications are reimbursable by BWC.
  5. Administrative code provides that drugs covered by BWC are limited to those that are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.  Marijuana has not been approved by the FDA and remains a Schedule I illegal drug under federal law.
  6. BWC-funded prescriptions must be dispensed by a registered pharmacist from an enrolled provider. Medical marijuana will be dispensed from retail marijuana dispensaries, not from enrolled pharmacies.
  7. BWC only reimburses drugs that are on its pharmaceutical formulary, which is a complete list of medications approved for reimbursement by BWC. Drugs not on the list are not eligible for reimbursement, and under BWC’s current rules, it cannot be included in the formulary, nor is it otherwise eligible for reimbursement.


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It would be great if Ohio would recognize what other states have implemented...ie Arizona, Connecticut, Rhode Island and protect medical marijuana patients from wrongful termination. UNLESS it can be proven that the person was immediately under the influence of marijuana while performing his/her duties at work that person has now taken advantage of the system and deserves to be terminated. This is horrible for hard working people that want to use marijuana instead of dangerous prescriptions. Marijuana can stay in ones system for a much longer period than other drugs. So this could in fact mean...lets say a veteran with PTSD (which is a qualifying condition) was prescribed marijuana for night terrors...said veteran ingests marijuana to sleep soundly throughout the night, is completely coherent the next day but comes up positive on a random UA and is fired from his.her job. There are countless other scenarios...

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