The New Hampshire Supreme Court overturned a labor appeals board decision to not cover a Workers’ Compensation claim and ruled that medical cannabis must be covered alongside other medical expenses, according to an Associated Press report.
The court ruled that cannabis patient Andrew Panaggio should have his medical cannabis costs reimbursed. Panaggio hurt his back while at work and became a registered member of New Hampshire’s medical cannabis program following that injury. He applied for Workers’ Compensation for the costs but was denied.
He appealed the decision but the board ruled that, while medical cannabis was indeed medically necessary, he would still not be reimbursed because cannabis possession remains federally illegal. The ruling by the state Supreme Court — which is the end of the road, in terms of appeals — clarifies that Panaggio is entitled to reimbursement.
The new decision, however, does not determine whether or not Panaggio’s insurance company is vulnerable to litigation if they persist in not covering the expenses. While it’s clear how New Hampshire state law regards the issue, the insurance carrier may simply continue to not take action on the issue if litigation isn’t possible.