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The Maryland Senate unanimously passed a bill on Monday to require the coverage of medical marijuana for workers compensation, but also states that employers are not responsible for workplace injuries caused by employee misuse of the medical cannabis.
S.B. 854, sponsored by Sen. Robert Zirkin, D-Baltimore County, authorizes the Maryland Workers Compensation Commission to require employers or insurers to allow medical cannabis to be a part of an injured worker’s medical treatment plan. However, the bill also states that an employee is not entitled to workers compensation benefits for certain accidental personal injuries, compensable hernias or other occupational diseases caused “solely by the effect of the medical cannabis” if the employee took the marijuana without following the written instructions of the physician, and this also applies to the misuse of marijuana the worker is taking as part of a workplace injury treatment plan.
If the legislation passes in the Maryland House and is signed by the governor, it would take effect Oct. 1, 2019.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared cannabidiol, a pain-relieving compound in marijuana known as CBD, neither harmful nor addictive.