Medical Marijuana and the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act

In 2016, Pennsylvania adopted the Medical Marijuana Act (MMA). For the first time, physicians are able to prescribe marijuana to address one of a number of serious medical conditions.

At least four of the 21 conditions could be considered “work related” conditions:

  • Neuropathies;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain; and
  • Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions.

Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania: The Basics

To legally use marijuana to treat a medical condition, you must obtain and submit the necessary documentation from a Department of Health registered doctor. Once approved, you will be issued an identification card and placed in the Department of Health’s database. Medical marijuana must be purchased from a designated dispensary.

Medical marijuana comes in a variety of different forms, including: pill, liquid, oil, gel, cream, and ointment. Medical marijuana is also available in a form suitable for vaporization or nebulization. Note that the enumerated list of acceptable forms for medical marijuana does not include a form that can be smoked.

Will Workers’ Compensation Cover a Medical Marijuana Prescription?

The question remains whether the workers’ compensation carrier will cover a prescription for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for now, it depends on the insurance company. As of date, there are only five states that mandate insurance carriers pay for medical marijuana, and Pennsylvania is not one of them. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, insurance companies are required to pay for medical treatment that is deemed reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the work injury. Therefore, if medical marijuana is found to be an appropriate form of treatment for your work injury, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier could be forced to cover the expense.

Although this area of law is still in debate, given the addictive nature of opioids, it would benefit both the injured worker and insurance companies if the carrier would be obligated to pay for medical marijuana prescriptions.

Send us a message via our contact form or call (888) 286-2850 to schedule a free consultation with the Metzger Wickersham team. We serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

    Kept me up to date on everything

    “They kept me up to date on everything that was goin on with my case. Answered all my questions.”

    - Lori D.
    Helps you to the fullest

    “Very courtesy and understanding and helps you to the fullest therefore you anytime of the day to talk to you and answer your questions and I will use them again.”

    - Cindy R.
    Thank you Zack Campbell!

    “Very happy with our experience would highly recommend them Thank you Zack Campbell”

    - Diana B.
    Had a great experience with these awesome people

    “Had a great experience with these awesome people. Their job was done promoting well and they got me way more than I could have imagined. I would Highly recommend.”

    - Michael C.
    Great Attorneys!

    “Great Attorneys”

    - David S.
    Always courteous and kept me informed and up to date on the whole process

    “My experience with M&W was made very painless by [Attorney] Lori & [Paralegal] Judy from the Hbg office!”

    - Kenneth W.
    I would recommend these people to anyone.

    “The lawyers at this office and their staff, Mr. [Attorney] DeVere and [Paralegal] Stephanie, his assistant, became the voice I didn’t have after the accident. They were my points of light.”

    - Ms. D. Lopez
    I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone.

    “You guys were so easy to work with. There was no stress and the whole process was done in a timely manner. I would recommend Metzger Wickersham to everyone. Such a pleasure.”

    - Sharon B.
    You guys are absolutely amazing and that’s an understatement.

    “Attorney Painter was simply amazing...My wife had been fighting SSI for over three years. Since working with Metzger Wickersham her stress and anxiety levels were 100% gone.”

    - Carlos B.
    Outstanding in every way

    “Outstanding in every way no one has ever helped me more in my entire life like this firm. I highly recommend. Thank you very much.”

    - Gary K.

Let Us Fight For You

Request a Free Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.