Canada Human Rights Board Rules Employee Insurance Must Cover Medical Marijuana Expenses

An independent human rights board of inquiry in Canada has ruled that medical marijuana expenses should be covered by an employee’s insurance plan.


The case revolves around Gordon Skinner, a resident of Head of Chezzetcook who had a motor vehicle accident while working as an elevator mechanic. He had been denied coverage for medical marijuana, even though it relieved his chronic pain symptoms over conventional treatments and even though he had health insurance through his employer.

Benjamin Perryman, chair of the human rights board, ruled that Skinner’s plan (a basic healthcare plan) includes conditions and rules for the coverage of medical marijuana as an eligible expense, given it’s a prescribed medicine like others that are covered.

According to a press release released by the Human Rights Commission; “since medical marijuana requires a prescription by law, it did not fall within the plan’s exclusions. Since medical marijuana was prescribed for pain management, it was accepted that it is a medical necessity and should be covered. Conventional prescription pain management drugs are normally eligible for coverage.”

As part of the ruling, Mr. Skinner’s expenses are to be covered up to and including the full amount of his most recent prescription.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at

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