Previous Agreements About Cannabis aren’t retroactively annulled

As more states begin to legalize cannabis, either medically or commercially, there are talks about whether agreements made before it became legal should be looked at again. Some states are retroactively saying yes but some aren’t as forthcoming.

In Pennsylvania, a court case has brought this question to the State Commonwealth Court and ruled in favor of the company. In  Lehigh Specialty Melting Inc. v. Workers Compensation Appeal Board, an employee sprained his wrist and herniated a disc while on the job for the plaintiff. They had worked out a C&R agreement which was approved by a judge where Lehigh would cover expenses until Medicaid took over.

However, the employee refused to sign it because it had no clause for medical marijuana. Originally, the judge ruled Lehigh had no obligation to cover this, but a workers compensation board ruled they did they did, holding that the judge had no authority to require Mr. Bosco to sign the MSA paperwork.[1] On appeal the court reversed the board’s decision. “The court noted that Mr. Bosco testified that he understood the terms of the settlement and signed off on its approval by the workers comp judge” and did not have the ability to now refuse “to cooperate as he had promised in the C&R because the MSA and/or employer will not pay for his use of medical marijuana.”

As more cases such as this begin to arise with the legalization of Cannabis, agreements and court decisions need to be reviewed carefully. As always, review relevant laws in the state your conducting business with.