Image of medical marijuana and narcotic pain killers
~
The state's more than 63,000 holders of medical marijuana cards will still be allowed to purchase their own cannabis, but the law removes the requirement that workers' compensation carriers and self-insurers reimburse patients for medical marijuana.
 
The law is similar to protections already in place for federal and private insurers under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
 
Marijuana advocates say the bill limits access, which they say is a healthier alternative to opioid-based painkillers such as hydrocodone. Supporters say there are technical issues that would make it difficult to reimburse patients for medicinal marijuana.
 
The Arizona Self-Insurers Association said it initially interpreted the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act to include workers' compensation carriers and self-insurers, but it became concerned after a court of appeals upheld a lawsuit in New Mexico. Last year the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld a decision by a workers' compensation judge that required an automotive repair shop in Santa Fe and its insurance company to reimburse a medical marijuana patient for the costs of marijuana to treat his chronic back pain.
 
"We believe this is consistent with the (medical marijuana) act as no other payer in the state, whether it's commercial insurance or Medicaid, no other payer in the state currently has to pay for medical marijuana," said Jeff Gray, a representative for the self-insurers association.
 
Arizona insurance companies are also concerned about how to reimburse patients, Gray said. For example, Gray said it would be difficult for insurers to follow dosage standards because the levels of THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, vary widely.
 
"The drug paraphernalia that is used to smoke it in some cases could be used as herbal medical equipment as well, so there are some issues around that," Gray said.
 
Medical marijuana advocates say it's unfair that insurers would cover opioid-based pain relievers but not cannabis.
 
"The jig is up. We know that cannabis is safe and effective," said Dave Wisniewski, chairman of SAFER Arizona, a cannabis legalization political action committee. "What you are saying is you'd rather do the alternative, which is to give them harmful pills that are damaging to their health."
 
~
May 24, 2019

Athletes ask doping agency to take marijuana…

in Sports

More than 150 current and former athletes signed a letter sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency, asking the organization to…
May 24, 2019

Three Years After Voters Legalized Marijuana, Maine…

So far the legalization effort in Maine has looked more like that of Vermont, which only legalized personal use and…
May 24, 2019

Is Marijuana the New Martini? - Cannabis…

Thanks to legalization and a distaste for hangovers, more Americans are choosing cannabis over alcohol and pain pills.
May 23, 2019

Ohio: First Greater Cincinnati medical marijuana dispensary…

About 60 people stood in line Tuesday morning outside the About Wellness Ohio medical marijuana dispensary Lebanon, anticipating the opening…
May 23, 2019

How Hotels Are Adapting to Cannabis Legalization…

The ‘where-to-smoke’ dilemma is forcing change in local laws and the hospitality industry.
May 23, 2019

Colombia’s congress preparing bill to legalize marijuana…

Lawmakers from a wide range of parties have begun working on new legislation that would legalize the production and consumption…
May 23, 2019

Texas Senate Advances Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill…

More than a million Texans could be eligible to access medical marijuana through the Texas Compassionate Use Program, after state…
May 22, 2019

MjMicro Conference Sold Out for Presenting Companies,…

NEW YORK, May 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via CannabisNewsWire -- MjMicro Conference (www.mjmicro.com), the next-level investor forum for publicly…
May 22, 2019

Wisconsin banks warming to industrial hemp business…

The Wisconsin Bankers Association hosted a panel discussion with members about financial institutions’ concerns over whether it is legal to…
May 22, 2019

This fashion house is spinning off a…

It’s the first high-end fashion brand that has entered the cannabis market, which is currently valued at around $6 billion,…