Medical Cannabis workers' Compensation Cases Stall as US Supreme Court Declines to Hear the Case.


Hunter Dublin | July 18, 2022


The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear two issues regarding worker's compensation benefits for medical cannabis. Last month, the DOJ petitioned the court to dismiss the lawsuits, arguing that such improvements should come from Congress or the executive branch.


The court decided to refuse certiorari, implying that fewer than four justices thought the issue merited a Supreme Court hearing, but not that the court agreed with lower court findings. According to the study, the two instances might have had far-reaching ramifications for federal preemption over cannabis.


Both cases started in Minnesota, and in both cases, individuals requested that their employers pay for medicinal cannabis after suffering on-the-job injuries. Both employers declined.

With the assistance of advocacy groups such as Empire State NORML, the plaintiffs contended that employers are not required to possess or produce cannabis in violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and must only pay monetary compensation for cannabis goods. According to the newspaper, the Minnesota Supreme Court finally ruled with the employers on the grounds that federal law preempts state medicinal cannabis regulations.


When the case reached the Supreme Court, the justices sought input from the Department of Justice's solicitor general, who responded last month with an amicus curiae reminding the court that several other state courts had weighed in on the issue; however, they said those cases had not "considered all of the possible grounds for preemption" and recommended the court not hear the claims.


The plaintiffs objected and filed briefs explaining why the court should consider the claims. Still, the cases are now closed due to the current development.


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