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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: September 8, 2021 01:04 PM
From: Representative David M. Delloso
To: All House members
Subject: Workers’ Compensation Coverage of Prescribed Medical Cannabis
With opioid use disorder being named the worst public health crisis in state history, Governor Wolf has taken an all-hands-on deck approach to curbing it. Covering prescription medical cannabis under workers’ compensation claims may be one way to address the crisis. By prescribing medical cannabis to treat chronic pain, we can keep our workers off of dangerous and harmful opioids.  
If a worker is hurt on the job through no fault of their own, we need to provide doctors with all of the treatments necessary to get the worker back to work as soon as possible. My proposed legislation would require employers to reimburse prescribed medical cannabis for qualifying workers on workers’ compensation. The use of the prescribed medical cannabis must be certified under the Medical Marijuana Act. In 2019, the Department of Health evaluated the state’s medical cannabis program and approved medical cannabis to treat a total of 23 serious medical conditions. Chronic pain is an approved medical condition and using medical cannabis to treat it could help thousands of Pennsylvania workers. 
Just this year, the New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled that an employer and their workers’ compensation carrier must reimburse an injured worker for his prescribed medical cannabis. For the worker, medical cannabis helped eliminate his reliance on opioids while still treating his pain. In order to protect our state’s injured workers, we must incorporate this right into our state law.
Not only would my bill help workers’ suffering from chronic pain as a result of a work-related injury, but it will also help families know that their loved one is receiving the medical treatment they deserve, without fear of growing medical bills. I urge you to join me in co-sponsoring this vital piece of legislation to ensure our workers are offered real benefits so they can properly recover from an injury.

Introduced as HB2038