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Both the Senate and House of Representatives in Hawaii are now considering identical bills that would require workers compensation payers to reimburse patients who are prescribed medical marijuana under state law permitting them to use cannabis.
Nine of the 25 state senators are backing S.B. 1523, introduced Thursday, the same day Rep. Dee Morikawa, D-Lihue, unveiled H.B. 1524.
Both measures follow the state’s study on issues surrounding medical marijuana, legalized in Hawaii in 2000, according to identical text accompanying both bills, which would add marijuana to the language in the state’s workers comp law pertaining to prescriptions for injured workers.
Both bills would subject payers to a fee schedule and require an injured worker to obtain a physician’s certification that he or she is eligible for enrollment in the state’s program governing medical marijuana, and that cannabis “may be reasonable and necessary medical treatment only where an authorized health care provider certifies that the potential benefits of the medical use… would likely outweigh the health risks.”
Included in the language in both bills are provisions against paying for drug “paraphernalia” and growing and cultivating of one’s own medical cannabis, which must come from a licensed producer.
Golden Bear Insurance Co. has received approval from the California Department of Insurance to lower rates on its coverage of the cannabis industry, in some cases by more than half, the commissioner’s office said in a statement Friday.