A Canadian health insurance firm has agreed to cover medical cannabis for a university student who uses the drug to help with severe headaches.
The development is a small step for the legitimacy of medical marijuana in the world of health insurance and could convince other firms in Canada – where MMJ is legal federally – to consider covering cannabis.
If that happens, more patients will sign up for medical marijuana programs, thereby increasing the market for cannabis businesses.
Jonathan Zaid, a student at the University of Waterloo and executive director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, lobbied to get his medical cannabis costs covered under his college’s health plan, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Zaid was turned down, so he then put his request to his university’s student union, which administers the plan.
He backed up his arguments by presenting information on medical cannabis provided via the licensed Canadian MMJ producer Bedrocan, according to the Huffington Post.
After eight months of discussions, the student union and the insurance provider – Sun Life – agreed that Zaid’s medical cannabis costs should indeed be covered.
“Currently medical marijuana is not considered an eligible benefit in our standard drugs plans,” Sun Life said in statement issued to the Huffington Post. “We do consider, and where possible, accommodate requests for exceptions if directed by the plan sponsors.”
In the past few months, Sun Life has reportedly reimbursed Zaid to the tune of $2,000 for medical cannabis and a vaporizer.