David Imrie

Medical marijuana is a $316-million-dollar industry in Canada. With recreational marijuana legalization on the horizon, the profitability of this industry is expected to increase. The fact that $5.13 billion of illegal cannabis was consumed by Canadian adults in 2017 gives a brief insight into the possible growth of the potential legal market.


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With the popularity of marijuana increasing and the stigma surrounding its consumption decreasing, those looking for alternative pain treatments are turning to cannabis. This means that more and more Canadians will be looking for medical marijuana-related coverage. So, what do you do if your employees want to claim their medical marijuana expenses?

A Growing Demand

More and more people are recognizing the medical benefits of marijuana. Medical marijuana can assist with pain, nausea, spasticity, and more. Medical marijuana is helping Canadians deal with their medical issues without turning to big pharma. As of July 2017, there were 201,398 Canadians approved to legally use medical marijuana.

When you say the words “medical marijuana” in today’s society, everyone has an opinion on the topic. Whether you’re for or against medical marijuana, there’s no denying that it has helped a great number of people through some extremely difficult health issues. Because of this, marijuana is gaining traction in the medical profession as a reliable pain reliever.

With more research being done into the positive effects of marijuana, medical marijuana is being authorized more frequently by doctors than ever before. As such, insurance companies will need to respond accordingly since this is a medical expense, even if it’s not a traditional claim.

Is Medical Marijuana Covered under Traditional Plans?

If you have a current traditional group benefits plan for your company, medical marijuana might not be covered. While some larger insurance corporations have recently included medical marijuana in their coverage offerings this year, most still won’t cover this expense.

Check with your current provider to see if medical marijuana is covered under your current plan. Chances are, it’s not. So why not give your employees what they want and switch to insurance coverage that will do just that—cover any and all of their needs.

It’s Covered under a Registered Health Savings Account

One of the most underrated ways of saving on your company’s group benefits insurance is switching to a registered health savings account. What’s that? It’s a unique benefits plan enabling you to allocate money towards each individual employee for their health benefits spending. For approved spending, your employees can spend exactly how much they want on what they want. It’s the best coverage to ensure everyone is happy—you’re happy because you save on premiums and your employees are happy because they get to dictate their own health-related spending.

Medical marijuana is also covered under a registered health savings account.

What’s the catch?

There isn’t one! As long as your employees meet the requirements and have an authorization, they’re eligible to claim medical marijuana towards their spending, leading to a happier and healthier employee population.

Know the Requirements

First and foremost, your employees need to tell you if they possess a medical marijuana card. It’s important for employers to know which employees in their workplace may be using legal cannabis at work.

From there, employees need to meet the requirements for coverage. The marijuana needs to be authorized by a Canadian physician for medical uses, including all the relevant and necessary paperwork that accompanies this diagnosis. Your employee will also need to be registered with an approved licensed producer to qualify.

All The Health Benefits Your Employees Need and Want

David Imrie

Dr. David Imrie founded RHSA Canada in 2009. Dr. Imrie is a medical doctor and former health insurance professional who has a passion for helping small businesses reduce their healthcare costs. As an executive in the insurance industry, he was shocked to find that so many common healthcare services are covered only partially by most insured plans, when employees were entitled to 100% coverage for all prescription drugs, dental services, and other healthcare expenses. Since leaving the insurance industry in 2001, Dr. Imrie committed to using newer technology to develop a better alternative program for small business health benefits.
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