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If the tea leaves are being read closely, they seem to be saying that medical marijuana will be found to be reasonable and necessary medical care for injured workers in Pennsylvania, provided they have a qualifying condition under the state’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), such as severe chronic pain or opioid use disorder. (Credit: Shutterstock) If the tea leaves are being read closely, they seem to be saying that medical marijuana will be found to be reasonable and necessary medical care for injured workers in Pennsylvania, provided they have a qualifying condition under the state’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), such as severe chronic pain or opioid use disorder. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Make no mistake about it, medical marijuana is no longer a trend. It is part of the mainstream. It is now legal in 33 states, both red and blue. Dispensaries are thriving throughout the nation, including in Pennsylvania, where medical cannabis has been legal since 2016. Its proponents champion it as a weapon in the fight against the opioid crisis, touting it as an effective pain relief option to highly addictive narcotic drugs like OxyContin. Moreover, it is gaining acceptance as a treatment method for conditions frequently seen in workers’ compensation cases, such as neuropathy, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. It is also increasingly being found to be a reasonable and necessary medical treatment for workers’ compensation claimants in multiple jurisdictions around the country.

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