Does federal law protect employers who choose not to cover medical marijuana costs for workers injured on the job, even in states that seek to require it? State courts have reached different conclusions on the question, and now the U.S. Supreme Court is asking the top Justice Department lawyer to weigh in. Justices were scheduled to discuss a pair of cases at a private conference on Friday that concerned Minnesota employees who sought workers’ compensation for medical cannabis expenses after being hurt while working on the job. Now the Supreme Court is asking the solicitor general to submit a brief—a notable development in the cases that appear to hinge on an interpretation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. For its part, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled late last year that both worker’s comp claims were invalid because of marijuana’s Schedule I status under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In one case, Susan Musta filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court in November after her state’s highest court determined that the CSA did, indeed, mean her employer did not need to provide reimbursement for medical cannabis after she was injured at her place of work, a dental center. Empire State NORML and two other groups—the New York City Cannabis Industry Association and the Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association—submitted amici curiae briefs urging the court to hear the case in December.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 02/22/2022 15:06:00

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