Cannabis vaporizers being dropped by P.E.I.’s Workers Compensation Board

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The Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. has finished the first review of its medical cannabis policy, one year after implementing it.

Under the policy, clients can be approved for use of cannabis to treat nausea with chemotherapy, end-of-life care, spasms caused by a spinal injury, or chronic shooting or burning pain.

The current policy covers reasonable costs for a vaporizer, and the board is looking to drop that benefit in light of a recent Health Canada warning.

“We wanted to ensure that our policy didn’t inadvertently promote vaping as a route for cannabis treatment and so we proposed an interim step that we wouldn’t cover the cost of a vaporizer,” said Kate Marshall, director of workplace services.

“If Health Canada or if the body of research and evidence changes then we will revise our policy further.”

That is not the only change being proposed.

Prescriptions from nurse practitioners would be accepted, and medical cannabis would no longer be allowed as harm reduction treatment for opioid or narcotic addiction. The WCB is removing the price of $8.50 a gram because it was restricting clients’ choice.

Marshall said about 20 clients are currently approved for cannabis use.

People have until Dec. 1 to offer comments or input on the changes.

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