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Decision Daniel Wright v. Pioneer Valley

Date: 02/14/2019
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 04387-15
Location: Boston
  • Employee: Daniel Wright
  • Employer: Pioneer Valley
  • Insurer: Central Mutual Insurance Company

LONG, J. The employee appeals from a hearing decision denying and dismissing his claim for the insurer to reimburse him for medical marijuana which he obtained and paid for pursuant to the Massachusetts Act for the Humanitarian Use of Marijuana (hereinafter "Massachusetts Act"). This claim requires us to squarely address the relationship between the federal Controlled Substances Act (hereinafter "CSA") and the Massachusetts Act. We hold, based upon the specific facts presented by this claim, that where an employee seeks an order from an Administrative Judge at the Department of Industrial Accidents to compel a workers’ compensation insurer to pay for the employee’s medical marijuana, a positive conflict exists between the federal and state laws, such that the CSA preempts the Massachusetts Act as applied in these circumstances. We therefore affirm the decision of the Administrative Judge.

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