Ohio Medical Marijuana and it’s IMPACT on Bureau of Workers Compensation

 

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.

Specifically:

  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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