August 15, 2013 | Posted in Marijuana | By

One thing Arkansans may want to know, as they consider the marijuana proposals many are touting, is whether or not insurance companies will pay for “medical” marijuana.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Market Watch has the answer:

“[T]o insurance companies, smoking pot for health might as well be a joke. America’s Health Insurance Plans, an organization representing carriers, says health plans currently don’t cover the cost of a single bud of medical marijuana, to conform to federal government regulations. That means health plans neither pay for the marijuana itself, nor the doctor’s visit for a treatment consultation.”

Additionally, banks cannot do business with marijuana dispensaries without risking their FDIC insurance. This means marijuana stores may not be able to open checking accounts or process credit cards; it also means they tend to keep large quantities of cash on hand–making them prime targets for thieves.

The reason banks and insurance companies do not do business with the marijuana industry is simple: Marijuana is still 100% illegal under federal law. Anyone who does any business with a marijuana grower or seller–from the person buying marijuana to the accountant managing the money–is breaking the law.

It may not even cross the minds of many people that insurance companies and banks cannot do business with the marijuana industry, but that seems to be just one more unintended consequence states have discovered as they have legalized “medical” marijuana.

Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.