Medical marijuana prescription

Will ICBC pay for medical marijuana?

No fault motor vehicle accident benefits are set out in Part 7 of the Insurance Vehicle Regulation. These benefits provide for reimbursement from ICBC for medication expenses due for treatment of injuries arising from a motor vehicle accident.  Will ICBC pay for medical marijuana? While the benefits do not explicitly cover medical marijuana, if it were accepted as a medication, it may be covered under no fault benefits.

There is some recent case law in BC suggesting that, as a general principle, medical marijuana may be compensable for pain management. In Westergaard v MacLean, 2017 BCSC 772, the plaintiff’s doctor noted that he had poor reaction to most medications, and endorsed his use of medical marijuana. The court made a cost of future care award that combined Advil and medical marijuana expenses under one head. However, there are a number of other cases where such claims have been rejected, and so the law is by no means settled.

If medical marijuana is legally accepted as a pain relief therapy, then the question becomes whether it would be covered under no fault benefits. In Ontario, statutory accident benefits, which are roughly analogous to ICBC’s no fault benefits, have been found to cover medical marijuana: 17-003297 v Certas Direct Insurance, 2018 CanLII 39451 (ON LAT). However, the governing language for ICBC’s no fault benefits differ from Ontario’s statutory accident benefits, and so this is not determinative.

Finally, it is worth noting that ICBC’s approach to medical treatment has been to refuse payment for alternative therapies under no fault benefits.

Our legal team at Simpson, Thomas & Associates is here to help you dispute such matters in personal injury claims and advocate on your behalf to ensure you get the best compensation possible.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, please call us at (604) 262-0457 to schedule a free consultation or fill out our contact form.

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