by | Oct 19, 2021

In many shops and stores you will find CBD Oil being advertised as a legal substance that has health benefits. CBD Oil has been legalized in Iowa in a limited capacity for medical use only. Iowa Code § 124E. However, in the context of workers’ compensation, insurers and employers are not required to pay for CBD Oil or Medical Marijuana in Iowa. Iowa Code § 124E.22.

Despite popular belief, CBD Oil is still legally considered a Marijuana extract product. Iowa Code § 124.204(4). For a claimant to even be able to buy CBD Oil legally in Iowa, they would have to have a Medical Marijuana Card that requires a physician to diagnose them with one of the listed qualifying conditions. Iowa Code § 124E.3. Then, one can only use the Medical Marijuana Card to obtain CBD Oil from licensed dispensaries, of which there can only be five in the entire state of Iowa. Iowa Code § 124E.8.

Even if a claimant follows all of these steps to legally purchase and use CBD Oil in Iowa, the Medical Cannabidiol Act, specifically says that Workers’ Compensation Carriers and Self-Insured Employers are not required to reimburse claimants for the cost of CBD Oil or any other Medical Marijuana product legalized under the act.

If you are dealing with a claimant that moves to another state where CBD Oil is legal, the Iowa Workers Compensation Act would still not require you to pay for it. CBD Oil and Medical Marijuana more generally are still illegal under federal law with very limited exceptions. 21 USCA § 812. In Presson v. Freiburger Concrete & Topsoil, Inc., a Deputy Commissioner found that even if the state legalized Medical Marijuana, the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act could not be used to force a carrier or an employer to pay for the substance when doing so would make them an accomplice to a federal crime.

The Iowa Attorney General’s office has repeatedly tried to warn Iowa consumers about the dangers of CBD Oil and educate them regarding the current legal status of the substance since the Medical Cannabidiol Act went into effect. If you have specific questions about Medical Marijuana or CBD Oil more generally, please call Paul Barta or Micah Hawker-Boehnke at 402-475-1075.