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Court of Appeals Denies Motion for Leave to Appeal in Quigley - Medical Marijuana Permitted in New York Comp

On 9/14/21, the Court of Appeals denied the carrier’s motion for leave to appeal the Appellate Division’s 2/25/21 decision in Quigley v. Village of East Aurora. Recall that the Quigley case affirms authorization and use of medical marijuana for treatment of injuries in the New York Workers’ Compensation system. The Appellate Division had held that Federal law classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance did not inherently preempt New York State legislation regarding the prescription and use of medical marijuana. It also held that reimbursing a claimant for out-of-pocket costs associated with purchasing medical marijuana legally prescribed under New York State law is unlikely to be considered aiding or abetting Federal controlled substance crimes. Furthermore, the Appellate Division ruled that authorization and use of medical marijuana in the New York Workers’ Compensation system does not conflict with other New York State legislative provisions outside the Workers' Compensation Law stating that insurance carriers are not responsible for payment for medical marijuana. The Court distinguished those other legislative provisions outside the Workers Compensation Law, because Section 13 of the Workers' Compensation Law explicitly states that workers' compensation insurance carriers are liable for essentially all forms of causally related medical treatment arising from a compensable injury.

Given the Court’s refusal to hear the case, the Appellate Division’s decision in Quigley is controlling. Medical marijuana is permitted in the New York Workers’ Compensation system, subject the Board’s rules and regulations. 

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