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Cannabis Company Funding Medical Insurance Fight

A Canadian medical cannabis company is stumping up  funds and other resources so a Nova Scotia man can continue his battle for reimbursement for prescribed cannabis medicines.

Last year we reported on the case of Gordon (Wayne) Skinner, who was no longer able to be reimbursed for the prescribed cannabis he was using as a result of his industry welfare trust denying the claims. Mr. Skinner, who suffered injuries in a work-related motor vehicle accident, had previously been reimbursed by his employer’s motor vehicle insurer.

The case went before Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Commission, which after considering the details, directed the industry welfare trust to pay out on the medical marijuana expenses from that point; including the cost of Mr. Skinner’s most recent prescription.

However, the trustees of Mr. Skinner’s plan appealed the ruling and a hearing is set for late this year. This means Mr. Skinner would have been required to continue to pay out of his own pocket for medicines and also faced expensive legal bills, if not for intervention.

“The lack of coverage for medical cannabis, the only treatment that has worked for me, has caused extreme hardship on my family and has diminished my health,” said Mr. Skinner.

The first to help was Canadians For Fair Access and then last week, Aurora Cannabis  Inc. joined the cause. The company says it will back Mr. Skinner to the Supreme Court stage if required.

“This is the right thing to do, and we’re going to back CFAMM and Wayne Skinner all the way,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora. “It is a matter of fundamental fairness and equality that these patients should be able to rely on their benefits plans to support prescribed medical treatment.”

With Aurora having substantial resources, this may have the trustees of the plan a little worried.

Aurora is one of 35 licensed producers across Canada, one of the largest and claims it is arguably the lowest cost-per-gram licensed producer in the country. While supporting Mr. Skinner may cost it a significant chunk of change, it will no doubt reflect well on the company and if Mr. Skinner is successful, the flow on effects will not only benefit patients, but companies such as Aurora.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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