When you have a work-related injury or illness, we’re here to help you recover and get back to work. This may include providing you with health-care benefits and in some cases that may include medical cannabis.
To decide if we can include medical cannabis in your benefit coverage, we will look at:
whether you have one of the five designated work-related medical conditions in the policy.
whether you’ve received a clinical assessment and medical cannabis treatment has been authorized by your treating health-care professional.
if you have already tried appropriate conventional treatments for your work-related injury or illness.
To learn more about who would be covered under the policy and how the policy was reached, visit our Policy Updates page.
Why has the WSIB introduced a policy on medical cannabis?
The WSIB has introduced the policy to:
- support timely and consistent decisions regarding medical cannabis,
- provide transparency about the circumstances in which entitlement to medical cannabis will be considered for a work-related injury or illness, and
- allow entitlement to medical cannabis where it is safe and proven to have a therapeutic benefit.
Who would be entitled to medical cannabis coverage under the policy?
A person with a workplace injury or illness may be entitled to medical cannabis coverage provided the following criteria are met:
- the person has one of the work-related conditions listed in the policy,
- the person has previously tried conventional treatments for their condition,
- the person has received a clinical assessment for medical cannabis treatment,
- the benefits of the medical cannabis treatment for the person outweigh the risks, and
- the person’s treating healthcare professional has authorized medical cannabis for them.
In addition, the dose and route of administration that the healthcare professional prescribes aligns to the criteria in the policy.
To learn more about who would be covered under the policy, reference the Cannabis for Medical Purposes (Policy 17-01-10).
How was the policy developed? How will it stay current after it takes effect?
To develop the policy, the WSIB conducted considerable research on medical cannabis which included existing scientific evidence and clinical guidance on medical cannabis, the compensation structure, and the federal access to medical cannabis scheme.
The WSIB plans to engage an independent third party to conduct a regular review of the scientific and clinical evidence on medical cannabis so that the work-related medical conditions listed in the policy remain reflective of the evidence for the therapeutic use of medical cannabis in the future. The WSIB will also conduct a review of the policy within two years of the date that the policy takes effect.
Will the WSIB cover the cost of equipment required for medical cannabis treatment?
Where entitlement to medical cannabis is allowed and the person is approved to take it using a vapourizer, the WSIB will cover the reasonable cost of the vapourizer, in addition to the reasonable cost of medical cannabis. Pre-approval from the WSIB must be obtained before purchasing medical cannabis or a vapourizer.
The policy applies to all purchases of medical cannabis or vapourizers for medical cannabis made on or after the policy takes effect.