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American Banks Missing Out On Legal Cannabis In Canada

S2S Insurance, cannabis insurance, contact Eric Rahn today, marijuana liability insurance, cannabis bankingThere are articles and news reports across the internet that recognize the money making potential in the legal cannabis industry. In the US, in states that have legalized marijuana in some form, people have invested heavily in the industry banking on big returns. People working in the trenches of the industry are starting to see early returns on their investments and they have the cash to prove it. While it is good to be rolling in dough, it is not ideal, and leads to some serious problems.

Most banks, large and small are not willing to extend their services to cannabis related businesses because of the plants status with the US government. Cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the Controlled Substance Act. As long as this federal law lists the drug as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, the financial industry will face significant challenges all the way from banking to merchant services by risking running afoul of federal law if they work with weed related businesses. The problem is not limited to the United States, it is impacting Canada as the entire country has legalized the use and sale of the drug.

Even though Canada legalized recreational marijuana and opened the door to a flurry of business activity, big banks in the United States and Canada are keeping the industry at arm’s length because of pot’s muddy legal picture in the United States.

Cannabis, while legal for recreational use in nine US states, and Washington D.C., remains illegal under US federal law. American banks have largely stayed away from providing services to the industry because federal regulations prohibit lenders from working with any business that deals in illegal drugs. Lenders could face money laundering charges in the United States if they do.

But banks could be missing out on a bonanza. The marijuana industry is expected to grow substantially in the next five years, with sales in the United States expected to hit $23.4 billion by 2022, according to cannabis market research group Arcview. Canadian sales are expected to hit $5.5 billion.

cannabis insurance specialists, s2s insurance specialists, legal cannabis, dispensary insurance, marijuana insuranceStill, most of the largest banks remain on the sidelines for now — even in Canada, where banks have to worry about potential compliance issues abroad. The American Bankers Association, the US industry’s powerful lobby, has said it wants Congress to resolve the conflict between federal and state laws so banks aren’t stuck in the middle, though it doesn’t have a position on legalization itself. Right now, banks that do decide to take a chance and quietly work with marijuana businesses are expected to file suspicious activity reports for every transaction related to those accounts — a huge and potentially expensive logistical headache. TD Bank (TD), the Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal (BMO), all of which have an international presence, declined to comment for this story.

As long as cannabis is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance there will be an inherent risk to working in the cannabis industry. Not only are there legal risks, but because normal financial services are not available, you’ll  be dealing in cash which posses it’s own set of problems. Your business could be targeted for theft and robbery, which may come with property damage and more. If you are considering or already involved in a cannabis related business, you need a risk management strategy. Reach out to S2S Insurance Specialists and talk with Eric Rahn about your business and risk management strategies.

read more at cnn.com

How To Navigate Legal Cannabis For Employees | S2S Insurance Specialists

Canada has legal cannabis and other countries will likely follow suit soon. Advocates for legal cannabis site the potential health benefits and a positive impact for many involved in the criminal justice system due to cannabis. While for those in Canada legalization represents a certain level of freedom, there are still restrictions and regulations that everyone should keep in mind before they consume cannabis in any form.

S2S Insurance, eric rahn, cannabis industry, cannabis insurance, legal cannabis, who insured cannabis companies, cannabis employer liabilityWhile legal cannabis means the number of cannabis related crimes and arrests should dramatically fall, what about employers and jobs? Some are asking the question; how are employers handling the legalization of cannabis? In Canada many are treating legal cannabis much like they do alcohol. It comes down to liability. Employers are responsible for providing a safe work environment, and employees have a responsibility to come to work fully functional and not impaired. Typically it is not a good idea to come to the office or work site after having three or four cocktails, likewise it’s probably not a good idea to show up after taking consuming marijuana. GZ.com talks about the issue more in depth below.

For office jobs, the message is that essentially, nothing has changed: You’re expected to show up sharp enough to perform on the job. Unless you have a legitimate prescription for medicinal marijuana, the workplace does not need to accommodate your cannabis habit.

No. [The company] is responsible for the well-being of all our people in the workplace – intoxication or impairment in the workplace is unacceptable and legalization of recreational cannabis does not change that. Impairment or intoxication is also strictly forbidden while operating any [company] owned motor vehicles.

S2S Insurance, eric rahn, legal cannabis, dispensary insurance, marijuana employer liability, cannabis insurance specialistsRecreational cannabis is treated like any other controlled substance, such as alcohol, and the purchase and consumption (in all forms) both publicly and privately is regulated by Provincial Legislation and the Cannabis Act.

Finally, because so many Canadian jobs require travel to the US, the memo notes that employees are responsible for staying compliant with US immigration laws about both personal use of marijuana and any investments in a cannabis company. “This applies for business travel to other countries as well,” it says.

This is about liability, not morality, he says. In some workplaces, rather than have an accident occur because a policy was too lenient, a company would rather have employees take action against an organization to prove that its policy is overly prohibitive, perhaps a violation of a person’s rights and freedoms. Then an outside decision-maker might force management to loosen restrictions.

For employers, firing an employee over impairment isn’t as straight forward as one may think. While an employer may have cause for termination, if an employee is dealing with a substance abuse issue, the employee could have cause to bring a labor dispute relating to medical and or mental health discrimination. It’s important for employers  to review their employer’s protection liability along with their worker’s compensation policies to determine their level of risk in these instances. If you do not have one or both of these policies, reach out to Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance Specialists and he can help get you protected.

read more at qz.com