The Cannabis Act and Benefits Plans

With the Cannabis Act coming into force on October 17th, 2018, many insurers are in the process of determining how to best fit medical marijuana into current plan offerings.  To be eligible for reimbursement under a group benefits plan, a drug must have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). Currently, marijuana is not an approved drug in Canada and does not have a DIN, so this poses a challenge to insurers.

While it isn’t currently considered an eligible expense under the extended healthcare plan, it is an acceptable expense for a healthcare spending account (HSA), as the guidelines for HSA expenses are provided by the Canada Revenue Agency.

Your PEO Canada Health and Wellness contacts will be monitoring insurers to see how group plans will be adapted, while working with employers to develop the best policy to support employees and manage the impact of medical marijuana on their benefits plans.

The links below provide some information for employers in preparation for the legalization of marijuana.

Recreational Marijuana:

Medical Marijuana:

HR and Legal Considerations:


Cheryl Dempsey / Benefits Administrator / PEO Canada

Share this post