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Louisiana expands use of medical marijuana

by Myke McCormick | May 31, 2018

The Louisiana Legislature, in the waning days of their session, approved House Bill 579 permitting usage of medical marijuana to treat an expanded list of conditions. The bill permits medical marijuana to treat conditions such as glaucoma, muscle spasms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Parkinson’s disease and intractable pain.

While the bill adds conditions frequently treated in workers’ compensation such as intractable pain and PTSD, the bill explicitly exempts insurers from being required to pay for medical marijuana related treatment for a workers’ compensation claimant. The bill includes specific language, “shall not be obliged or ordered to pay for medical marijuana in claims.” Inclusion of this specific exemption language is in response to the growing number of court rulings across the country which have subjected insurers to payment for all sorts of medical marijuana related treatment for injured workers.

The bill, which can be found here now awaits action by the Governor.

Should you have any questions on this or other legislative or regulatory topics, please contact our Government Affairs Team at AskGovtAffairs@optum.com


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