NCCI Examines Marijuana Legalization: Five Things You Need to Know

Posted Date: May 09, 2019

(Boca Raton, FL, May 9, 2019)—The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) has released an update on marijuana legalization that addresses the top five questions on the minds of workers compensation industry stakeholders.

“Though a majority of states have legalized marijuana in some form, it remains illegal at the federal level and the issue continues to evolve,” said Laura Kersey, author of the update and executive director, Regulatory & Legislative Analysis at NCCI. “One of the emerging issues is whether medical marijuana is reimbursable in workers compensation. Given the friction between state and federal law, states are faced with the challenge of whether to approve medical marijuana treatment for work-related injuries. This issue is being addressed through legislation as well as in the courts."

Specific questions examined in this update include:

  1. What is the status of marijuana legalization?
  2. What is happening legislatively in 2019?
  3. Are insurers required to reimburse for medical marijuana in workers compensation?
  4. Have there been new rulings from the courts regarding medical marijuana reimbursement?
  5. Have there been new developments regarding research studies or tests to determine impairment?

To read the full update and answers to the top five questions, click here.

The current status of state marijuana legalization includes the following:

  • Recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, plus DC
  • Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, plus DC
  • CBD oil/nonpsychoactive forms of marijuana are legal in an additional 14 states, under certain circumstances
  • Three states currently do not have laws legalizing marijuana in some form

This update is a follow-up to NCCI’s The Marijuana Conversation series, which launched in September 2017, and to the Focus on Marijuana Legalization, published in April 2018. Stay tuned to for additional updates on marijuana legalization and other hot topics throughout the year.

About NCCI

Founded in 1923, the mission of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is to foster a healthy workers compensation system. In pursuit of this mission, NCCI gathers data, analyzes industry trends, and prepares objective insurance rate and loss cost recommendations. These activities—together with research, analytical services and tools, and an overall commitment to excellence—have positioned NCCI as the trusted source for workers compensation information. To learn more about NCCI, please visit

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