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The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a pair of decisions out of the Minnesota Supreme Court which held that employers cannot be required to reimburse workers for marijuana used to treat on-the-job injuries because the substance is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The cases are Bierbach v. Digger’s Polaris and Musta v. Mendota Heights Dental Center et al, 965 N.W.2d 312 (Minn. 2021).

In both cases, a Workers’ Compensation Judge awarded the injured worker reimbursement for medicinal marijuana expenses incurred to treat their work-related injuries. In both cases, the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Judge and declined to address the conflict of law between the Federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and Minnesota’s Medical Marijuana law (MCTRA), stating that the appeals court lacked the appropriate jurisdiction to address the conflict.


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