After Canada legalized marijuana in 2018 and Canadian cannabis companies completed exporting contracts for medical marijuana with European countries and other nations around the world, they immediately began violating international drug treaties. Either marijuana needs to be rescheduled by the U.N. so that those violations stop or they need to take some sort of action. The World Health Organization is recommending that they reschedule marijuana.
The mostly likely scenario seems to be that the U.N. will reschedule marijuana. The European Union Parliament recently rescheduled marijuana, so the trend seems to be heading in that direction in general. If marijuana were removed from its Schedule I status here in the United States, more cannabis insurance carriers would become available and we would see the cannabis industry begin to resemble more traditional industries and will face the same sort of liabilities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for whole-plant marijuana, as well as cannabis resin, to be removed from Schedule IV—the most restrictive category of a 1961 drug convention signed by countries from around the world.
The body also wants delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its isomers to be completely removed from a separate 1971 drug treaty and instead added to Schedule I of the 1961 convention, according to a WHO document that has not yet been formally released but was circulated by cannabis reform advocates.
Marijuana and cannabis resin would also remain in Schedule I of the 1961 treaty—they are currently dual-designated in Schedules I and IV, with IV being reserved for those substances that are seen as particularly harmful with limited medical benefits. (That’s different from the U.S. federal system, under which Schedule I is where the supposedly most dangerous and restricted drugs—like marijuana, heroin and LSD—are classified.)
Once marijuana is viewed like any other normal industry here in the United States, cannabis liability insurance, marijuana D&O insurance, cannabis workers compensation coverage and more will be commonplace. In the meantime the liabilities to insurance businesses are still very real and it behooves cannabis entrepreneurs to understand their marijuana coverage alternatives. Reach out David Rahn or Eric Rahn, your cannabis insurance specialists, to find out more.