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Minnesota Supreme Court Holds Employers Need Not Reimburse Employees For The Cost Of Medicinal Cannabis To Treat A Work-Related Injury

Today the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed two Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals decisions that had required employers to reimburse the cost of medicinal cannabis prescribed to treat work-related injuries.  The Court held that orders regarding cannabis made under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act, are preempted by the federal Controlled Substances Act. The Court’s ruling means that Minnesota employers and their workers’ compensation insurance carriers, need not pay for medicinal cannabis prescribed to treat employees who are injured on the job.

It remains to be seen whether this decision will pave the way for further preemption arguments where cannabis is concerned.


Daniel Bierbach, Respondent, vs. Digger’s Polaris, and State Auto/United Fire & Casualty Group, Relators.

A Susan K. Musta, Respondent, vs. Mendota Heights Dental Center & Hartford Insurance Group, Relators.

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