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Seeking State Marijuana Grow Licenses Highlights the Need for D&O Insurance

marijuana grow licenses are hard to come by and one particular lawsuit in las vegas shows the need for cannabis insurance

The battle to win marijuana grow licenses in states like Nevada have resulted in some very aggressive legal challenges. One such example in Las Vegas highlights the advantages of having cannabis D&O Liability Insurance coverage.

Michael and Robert Frey are joint owners with Verano Holdings of a 50,000 acre cannabis cultivation and processing facility in Nevada called Naturex which runs the Zen Leaf dispensaries in Las Vegas. Verano Holdings is one of the largest cannabis companies in the country with marijuana grow licenses in multiple states.

According to case filing, the Frey brothers are saying that they completed paperwork for additional grow licenses in Nevada and gave it to Verano to submit. Verano is accused of using the paperwork completed by the Frey brothers as a reference to then completing separate paperwork which they filed with Nevada to get their own licenses independent of the Frey brothers.

directors and officers insurance is important in case your cannabis company gets sued

Verano CEO George Archos said the company is aware of the complaint but has not had an opportunity to review the claims.

“Based on what we know of the allegations, however, we do not believe the complaint has merit,” Archos said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We intend to defend aggressively against these claims.”

“Defendants claimed the applications would be incomplete without locations specified in the application materials — albeit an incorrect analysis and unsubstantiated excuse proffered by Defendants — to which plaintiffs reasonably relied on such misrepresentation at the time,’’ the lawsuit states.

Verano “intentionally and maliciously usurped the opportunity available and belonging to Naturex and instead utilized the Naturex materials for its own entity defendant Lone Mountain to apply without including plaintiffs and without informing plaintiffs of defendants’ intended course of action,” the lawsuit states.

The actions of officers and directors of any company can lead to lawsuits that D&O Liability insurance is intended to protect a company from. Marijuana legalization is spreading fast and investors are clamoring to get a foot hold so they can prosper from the quickly growing industry. Finding the right sort of liability coverage in the cannabis can be tough though, so get in touch with David Rahn or Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance, your cannabis insurance specialists, to find out your alternatives.

Read more at ReviewJournal.com

The SEC May Find Your Marijuana Company Negligent in Cyber Fraud Cases

The enthusiasm towards the marijuana industry is palpable. The cannabis space is growing at a remarkable pace and both voters and legislators are going through the slow process of adapting laws to make room for the industry in the mainstream. However, it is easy for a marijuana company to get lost in the enthusiasm and lose sight of the bigger picture. The reintroduction of cannabis into the mainstream at this time, an era where technology is advancing at a speed most people are challenged to keep up with, presents risks any cannabis entrepreneur should stay current with on a consistent basis. These are the sorts of risks that only the proper marijuana insurance policies may be able to cover. Many companies may feel they have solved their cyber security problems by having anti-virus software throughout their network of company computers. But, many cyber attacks have little to do with the vulnerabilities present in a computer, but instead with the users of the computers.

SEC cyber security report, Marijuana company, marijuana data breach insurance, s2s insurance, eric rahn, marijuana insuranceRecently, the SEC issued a warning to mainstream publicly traded companies that they will soon have little tolerance for negligence in maintaining cyber security. While the advancement of technology is swift, companies have now had decades to become accustomed to electronic financial transactions and the criminal efforts to fool companies into making deposits into fraudulent accounts. Sections 13(b)(2)(B)(i) and (iii) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) requires that companies “devise and maintain a system of internal accounting controls sufficient to provide reasonable assurances that (i) transactions are executed in accordance with management’s general or specific authorization,” and that “(iii) access to assets is permitted only in accordance with management’s general or specific authorization.”

marijuana company, cannabis email fraud, marijuana cyber security insurance, eric rahn, s2s insurance, who insures marijuana companies, cannabis insurance specialistsIn the SEC report, none of the companies referenced, which lost nearly $100 million in total to cyber fraud, were found to be guilty of negligence. However, the report is a clear warning by the SEC to these companies and others, that anything but the strictest protocol for tracking transactions will be sufficient for publicly traded companies moving forward in order to protect investors. Hardly any of the funds stolen from these companies were recovered. To have a reparation filed against a company by the SEC for negligence in accounting controls on top of losing millions of dollars would scare shareholders away. The incidents referenced in the report involved the simple use of email. In some cases, an email address was created that looked like an official request for payment from an executive at a vendor. On the surface the email may have looked official, but employees working in processing plainly rushed through their tasks without reading emails thoroughly, or they would have likely identified discrepancies. The other cases involved hacking into company email accounts and manipulating financial ledgers. The criminals blended future transactions into the their look-alike vendor accounts with legitimate future transactions. The SEC’s point should be well taken. The stolen funds were ultimately due to the fact that the companies were not following their own sets of checks and balances and failed to identify the scams, when a diligent eye would have caught them.

marijuana company, s2s insurance, david rahn, cyber security insurance, cannabis insurance specialistsNow, if we take a look at the cannabis industry, the vulnerabilities to these sorts of attacks seem obvious. Cannabis companies have much more to track on their own due to the federal Schedule 1 status of marijuana. A marijuana business does not have the benefit of bank record keeping to track transactions since most banks refuse to accept the funds of a cannabis company in fear of violating anti-money laundering laws. Granted, cyber attacks like the ones identified in the SEC report rely upon electronic transactions, therefore a cash business would not be the target of this specific sort of cyber crime. However, as long as a criminal can isolate a flaw in a company’s tracking of financial transactions, they will see an opportunity to steal. Should the federal government look to legalize cannabis, and banks do start accepting the funds of the marijuana industry, then cannabis companies may be the biggest target of all. Phases of transition are where mistakes are most likely to occur, and hackers know it.

Tracking products all the way from seed to sale is not only happening in the cannabis industry. With the creation of blockchains that are commonly associated with cryptocurrency, comes a means to create verifiable ledgers for all sorts of transactions that are not centralized and therefore are not as easy to hack. So, if you want to know that you are eating a tomato grown on a certain farm in the United States, the tracking system can confirm where the tomato was grown and where the seed came from. To do this, a strict log of all transactions must be kept and quickly verified by third parties. Any discrepancy in that log throws up red flags and any fraudulent transactions can be rooted out quickly. It is this sort of organized tracking that is the way of the future and intended to eliminate these very sorts of fraudulent cyber attacks. While the advancement of technology provides new and different opportunities to steal, it also provides solutions.

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The unfortunate incidents cited by the SEC in their report shows that human involvement is still very necessary when it comes to accounting and logging transactions. It is necessary for all protocol to be be followed exactly on a consistent basis in order to prevent these sorts of breaches that can result in the loss of millions of dollars. Computers are nothing without people still, which means that human error will continue to be a factor. However, cyber security or data breach insurance for a marijuana company can counter those financial losses. It is up to the pioneers of the cannabis industry to set the standard, once marijuana goes completely mainstream, by recognizing cyber threats and continuously staying updated on new threats. Things are happening fast, and should marijuana become rescheduled or even descheduled, then a multi-billion dollar industry will suddenly be thrust upon the banking sector. Clever criminals will identify this transition phase as a time when sloppy accounting and other slip ups are likely to happen leaving cannabis companies vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Eric and David Rahn of S2S Insurance Specialists understand these cyber risks well. With over two decades of working experience in mainstream business and watching technology advance at such a rapid pace, they can help you understand the cyber security risks of your marijuana company. They can review with you the cannabis company data breach policies that would most benefit your company. Contact Eric and David Rahn, the cannabis insurance specialists, for more information.

What Cannabis Directors and Officers Can Learn From Elon Musk

Cannabis business owners and managers wear multiple hats as they venture into the developing industry of cannabis. They have taken on the responsibility of growing their business which will not only impact them but anyone that has invested in their dream and shares in the successes and failures. Cannabis business owners have to make decisions that will increase revenue, market share, create exposure to new customers, improve customer service, and multiple other decisions that enhance the business. When decisions are made that harm the business, and therefore harm investors, someone must be held responsible for that harm. Those people who we hold responsible for making sound business decisions are the directors and officers of a company or corporation.

Marijuana Business Director and Officers Liability Insurance, Eric Rahn, S2S Insurance, David Rahn, cannabis insurance specialistsElon Musk is an extreme example of how a CEO’s decision making can put him or her in the sites of disgruntled investors, or in the case of publicly traded companies, the SEC. The Securities and Exchange Commission protects investors and the markets which people invest their hard earned money into every day. Musk sent out at hasty tweet that millions of people saw (many of which who invest in his company’s stock) and it impacted the price of his stock. The problem with the tweet is that it was not true or completely accurate. It became public and again his company’s stock price was impacted in a negative way causing investors to lose money.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk for securities fraud after his aborted attempt to take the company private earlier this summer. The complaint, filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, shows that the SEC is seeking to ban Musk from being able to hold officer or director positions at publicly-traded companies, as well as any other damages the court feels are appropriate.

“Musk knew or was reckless in not knowing that each of these statements was false and/or misleading because he did not have an adequate basis in fact for his assertions,” they write. “Musk knew that he had never discussed a going-private transaction at $420 per share with any potential funding source, had done nothing to investigate whether it would be possible for all current investors to remain with Tesla as a private company via a “special purpose fund,” and had not confirmed support of Tesla’s investors for a potential going- private transaction.”

Eric Rahn, David Rahn, Marijuana D&O Insurance, who insures the marijuana industry, cannabis insurance specialistsFor cannabis business owners, Elon Musk’s situation is extreme but does show the impact directors and officers can have on a business. As your cannabis business grows and the value of your investors’ investments grow, each decision you make will be that much more scrutinized. Executives and higher level managers can protect the company and themselves by investing in Directors and Officers insurance. D&O insurance policies protect you as a director or officer of the company if your actions negatively affect the company’s profitability or if the company is sued because of your actions. The policy will pay for legal damages and fees. As always policy coverage limits do apply so talk with a cannabis insurance specialist like Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance today.

read more at theverge.com

D&O Insurance For A Canadian Reverse Merger

The amount of new headlines popping up regularly about United States based marijuana companies going public on a Canadian exchange through reverse mergers is pretty common these days. More and more US based marijuana companies are entering the Canadian public markets to gain access to private equity and public capital markets. This year we have seen MedMen Enterprises, a very popular and quickly growing marijuana dispensary company primarily located in California and Las Vegas, go public through a reverse merger on the Canadian Securities Exchange or CSE. MJardin, a Colorado based marijuana company also went public through a Canadian reverse merger on the CSE and everyone is anticipating both Acreage Holdings and LivWell to do the same in the near future.

 

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As often as you hear about reverse mergers they are not as simple as they may first seem and they are certainly not risk free. The appeal to entering an exchange traded equity market through a reverse merger is that it can be a quicker and less expensive way of going public than a traditional initial public offering or IPO. These US based cannabis companies find businesses trading on a Canadian exchange like the CSE, TSX or CNSX that are struggling financially for some reason, buy the majority of the shares of what would now be referred to as a shell company, and exchange the shares of the private company with shares of the shell company. While a reverse merger into a Canadian public company may be quicker and cost less than an IPO, it also comes with some additional risks that certain marijuana insurance policies can help define.

CBP, canadian reverse merger, marijuana insurance, directors and officers liability insurance, who insures the cannabis industry, s2s insuranceCanada’s marijuana industry is booming and expected to add another $5 billion in marijuana sales now that the Cannabis Act has been passed legalizing adult-use marijuana in Canada nationally. In fact, the commercial sale of adult-use cannabis is set to start on October 17th, 2018. Some other countries like Russia have condemned the legalization of cannabis in Canada saying that it violates international trade treaties. Recently the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency threatened to issue lifetime travel bans to the US for Canadian marijuana employees and investors. Here in the United States, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and authorities are suggesting that Canadians involved in the cannabis trade that are looking to enter into the US could proliferate the state legal marijuana industry here. Whether you agree with this stance or not, the financial risks to a marijuana business are still very real. How these cross border threats play out financially are still an unknown which is the very nature of risk and what marijuana insurance policies are for.

Cross border threats aside, there are inherent financial risks associated with reverse mergers no matter where they take place. Again, a shell company typically has financial troubles which is why they are targeted for the acquisition. What are those financial liabilities? Some companies that have moved forward with reverse mergers have missed certain debts and liabilities of the shell company, in particular in cases where the shell company was in the process of being sued.  Perhaps an acquisition is exactly what the shell company needed to get out from under certain debts. Another risk could be that without holding periods, the investors in the shell company could dump their shares right after the acquisition causing the price of the company to fall rapidly.

Toronto stock exchange, marijuana insurance specialists, Eric Rahn, S2S insurance, Canadian reverse merger, cannabis insuranceThese are only a few of the potential challenges that US based marijuana companies face by establishing themselves as a Canadian exchange traded company. Finding out how marijuana Directors and Officers Liability Insurance could help to financially protect you from the unforeseen only makes sense for a US based cannabis company that is considering going public in Canada. As a Canadian public company you must now comply with Canadian securities laws which adds an entirely new layer of compliance and liability to consider. Insurance for marijuana companies, such as Directors and Officers Insurance, is always a good idea and would certainly be good to have when going public in Canada through a reverse merger.

The elements of the unknown are heightened through reverse mergers, especially those that happen on an international exchange that will have rules that differ from US exchanges. That is why reaching out to S2S Insurance Specialists for hard to place marijuana insurance policies can be the solution you need. S2S Insurance Specialists focus on providing clients with this critical early stage insurance for complex cross border deals. Let us assist in guiding you through the minefield of issues required to obtain proper coverage. Here are some of the policies that your cannabis business can specifically benefit from before executing a reverse merger in Canada.

  • Directors and Officers Insurance (D&O Insurance for marijuana)

A D&O Insurance policy protects you as a director or officer of marijuana company of  wrongful acts that negatively affect the company’s profitability. It will also protect you if the company is sued as a result of these wrongful acts. The policy also covers legal damages and fees. Excess Limit Coverage Policies are available as well. Company executives, newly appointed officers and a board of directors should want adequate D&O insurance in place prior to moving forward with a reverse merger. Investors should require that any company they are investing in must have D&O Insurance to protect their investments from wrongful acts by the directors and officers. Again, when it comes to reverse mergers, it takes a lot of due diligence to ensure that the shell company does not have some hidden liabilities. Regardless of whether a wrongful act was truly intended, the liability still falls to directors and officers.

  • Professional Liability Insurance for cannabis companies (PLI)

Who would be held accountable during a reverse merger if errors and omissions were discovered? As a cannabis accountant or attorney, those blames could be turned upon you. A PLI policy can cover traditional business professionals such as marijuana growers, trimmers but also marijuana accountants and lawyer.

  • Employers Practice Liability for a marijuana business

If any of your employees file a claim against you for discrimination including age, race, disability, sexual discrimination, wrongful termination or some other type of discrimination; Employers Practice Liability coverage protects you from these types of employee-related claims. When a reverse merger occurs with a Canadian shell company, it is likely that your marijuana business may retain some of the shell company’s employees familiar with Canadian security laws. It may be challenging to judge their particular state of mind after their company has been acquired and the threat of discrimination claims cannot be ignored.

S2S Insurance Specialists is an international insurance broker for the cannabis industry. We will help you find the hard to place cannabis insurance policies that will protect you when taking such a big step by going public. Find the D&O policies, PLI and Employers Practice Liability policies by contacting Eric Rahn of David Rahn, the marijuana insurance specialists.

Selecting a Qualified Cannabis Insurance Broker

The legal marijuana business sector may be relatively new compared to, well any other industry, but that does not change the fact that traditional best practices still apply. Many cannabis business owners may have a mentality towards risk. They may feel like they took a big risk in the first place entering into the industry and that diving into the business simply means that you have to accept the risks that come with working with a substance that is listed on the Controlled Substance Act. While that may be the right attitude, delving into the details is merited so that a marijuana business owner is making wise decisions and not taking on anymore risk than they absolutely have to. Be conscious of the risks you are taking by understanding them entirely and provide financial security wherever you can through marijuana insurance policies. The best way to begin is by selecting a qualified cannabis insurance broker.

Article Highlights:

Qualified Cannabis Insurance Broker, dispensary insurance, liability insurance for marijuana, cannabis insurance specialistsIn the years that S2S Insurance Specialists has been operating, we have noticed an almost blasé attitude towards risk mitigation in the cannabis space. If you are taking your business seriously, than you must take risk mitigation seriously. Do you really think that fire hazards are less likely for a marijuana business? Do you believe that sexual harassment does not exist within the confines of your walls? Do you not think you are vulnerable to theft? If you do think these things then you are not paying attention to the news. Many fires have broken out at dispensaries, in fact explosions have occurred especially for those companies specializing in marijuana extracts where at times dangerous equipment, high pressure and volatile chemicals are mixed together. And, criminals are well aware that the marijuana industry is cash heavy.

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The real challenge for marijuana companies in terms of understanding their financial risk is a lack of cannabis insurance professionals. Most insurance agents are avoiding the cannabis space due to its Schedule 1 Controlled Substance Act status and also are not doing their due diligence in researching this restrictive sector.  Cannabis business owners are skeptical that the insurance agent they are speaking with don’t even know the specific and oftentimes unique risks associated with the marijuana industry.

Whether you grow and cultivate marijuana, own a cannabis dispensary, manufacture extracts or own a marijuana lab testing company, these are all jobs that involve handling the marijuana plant. It is these specific industries that really have to contend with the federal illegality of cannabis rather than most ancillary businesses associated with marijuana, though they too should be conscious of their risks. If your company is in the United States, Canada or any other country, insurance for marijuana is very much worth looking into. The challenge is finding the marijuana insurance specialist that can direct you to the right policies for your business and turn cannabis insurance into an asset of your company.

 Qualified Cannabis Insurance Broker, testing lab insurance, cannabis insurance, medical marijuana, employer protection insuranceAsk your insurance specialists; what are the current national and state marijuana insurance carriers? Ask what type of policies they are presently working with. Ask them if they are licensed marijuana insurance specialists as the field is very limited.  Ask questions, lots of them, and make sure they are not just placating you to earn your business without considering what is truly in your best interest. As a marijuana business owner it behooves you to really read through your entire policy and see if your agent is taking the time to clearly walk you through the policy. What are you most interested in? The answer is marijuana policy exclusions and endorsements. If the insurance agent is only showing you the advantages of the policy, then they are focused on selling exclusively. Big tip, read your marijuana policies backwards. Start on the last page, that is where you will find the exclusions, what the policy does not cover.

Marijuana insurance specialists will have endorsements from the clients they are working with. Ask for their references. If an insurance agent does not have any marijuana insurance references, that likely means it is not their focus and that they do not understand entirely the very policies they are showing you. True marijuana insurance specialists, like you find with Eric and David Rahn at S2S Insurance, will be very frank with you right from the beginning by explaining that the cannabis industry has a lot to navigate due to the restricted status of cannabis. They will inquire about which state you are based in and then delve into the details of that particular state’s marijuana insurance policies. They will also discuss the national policies towards marijuana whether it is in the United States, Canada, Mexico or outside of North America.

Here are the main points. Not all marijuana insurance policies are the same, so read them. Read policies starting from the last page so that you first understand the exclusions, what the policy will not cover, and see if there are any endorsements. Remember that not all internet or retail insurance agents understand the restrictions surrounding the marijuana industry. Not all insurance agents are licensed to underwrite marijuana insurance policies either. Marijuana policies are in flux in each state and country, so your marijuana insurance agent better be confident when explaining to you the most current policies concerning marijuana in your particular geographic location.  Read policies carefully and ask for references. Like any other business, marijuana companies need employer protection insurance, D&O insurance, liability insurance, workers compensation insurance and crop insurance. The challenge is understanding the limitations to a policy due to the legal restrictions surrounding marijuana and discovering that the marijuana insurance policy is crafted around those restrictions and designed specifically for a marijuana business.

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S2S Insurance Specialists understand cannabis insurance for recreational marijuana, medical marijuana and all of the businesses associated with the cannabis industry. We have the licenses and knowledge to direct you to the policies that will provide the exact coverage your company needs. When speaking with a marijuana insurance specialists at S2S Insurance, you will feel confident that you are being provided with the best possible service for you, your directors and officers and overall operation. Organizing and optimizing a business in a restricted industry like marijuana may be more essential than it is in the traditional business space. S2S Insurance Specialists can guide you to the marijuana insurance policies that will optimally cover the unique risks associated with your business.

Cannabis Insurance An Absolute Must For Cannabis Businesses

As a small business owner there are a number of unanswered questions and unknown threats to your business. Many of these unanswered questions can keep you up at night searching for answers. A question that often doesn’t get asked by small business owners and especially cannabis business owners is how much insurance should I have? Not only should you be asking how much, but you should be asking what type? General liability insurance you get at the insurance provider in your local neighborhood won’t work in the world of cannabis. Cannabis businesses need cannabis insurance. The cannabis industry needs an industry specific insurance product to protect the cannabis industry.

S2S insurance, eric rahn, cannabis insurance, testing lab insurance, who insures the cannabis industryThe cannabis insurance industry serves a specific purpose for the marijuana industry because of the design of the policies. Cannabis insurance does not include the same exclusions as traditional insurance policies. Traditional policies often have exclusions for contraband or illegal substances. For the foreseeable future the entire US cannabis industry revolves around an illegal substance. Marijuana or cannabis is listed as a Schedule I drug right next heroin. Marijuana has been legalized on the state level and is gaining support federally, but that does not change the need for specified cannabis insurance to protect your business.

A recent survey by Manta and Insureon reveals just how many entrepreneurs are putting themselves at risk. Fewer than three in 10 small business owners in the survey have a business owner’s policy, the basic business insurance that covers general liability insurance and commercial property insurance to protect you from loss. Even fewer (21 percent) have errors and omissions (E&O) or professional liability insurance, 17 percent have workers compensation insurance, 6 percent have business interruption insurance, and only 2 percent have cyberinsurance.

No matter what type of business you own, you operate under some degree of risk. Sadly, no business is completely immune to lawsuits. Fortunately, however, a variety of insurance options exist to help protect small businesses.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, liability insurance for marijuana, cannabis insurance specialists, marijuana crop insuranceA question you may have is, what type of cannabis insurance do I need? One of the biggest expenses for most business owners is property. Whether you own a store front, a warehouse, computers, and don’t forget about your inventory, you need to protect it all. Cannabis specific property and casualty insurance pays for damages to your business property resulting from a covered loss. This type of policy protects your place of business but also the contents within your place of business. An example would be if there is a fire in your store and you lose furniture, computers, inventory, it would all be covered up to your policy limits.

There are policies that will also cover expenses that protect your business from additional damage after a loss and the money required to keep operating your business until the damage from the loss is repaired. Property insurance is just one example of the type of insurance you should ask your cannabis insurance specialists about. There are also other types of cannabis specific policies such as product liability, data breach insurance, and errors and omissions. Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance puts it very bluntly, “are you covered if the mud hits the fan?” Don’t find out the hard way that you don’t have what you need or you don’t have enough of what you need, contact S2S Insurance today.

read more at postbulletin.com

Cannabis Insurance Top 5 Mistakes | S2S Insurance

No matter what line of business you are in, you need some form of insurance, that includes cannabis companies. Choosing the right cannabis insurance provider and policy can be a daunting task and mistakes can definitely be made.

Below, Eric Rahn, insurance specialist at S2S Insurance, breaks down common mistakes cannabis related business owners make when choosing an insurance policy and how to avoid them.

1. They don’t purchase insurance at all.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, marijuana insurance, weed, dispensary insurance, cannabis insurance specialistsOne of the biggest mistakes cannabis business owners are making is not having a policy at all. While the wrong policy is problematic, not having any coverage can be devastating to a new or even an established business. Investing in insurance covers the unforeseen and mitigates risk. Whether a cannabis business is faced with vandalism, theft, product liability, employee law suits, management issues, the right policy can save tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of valuable dollars.

2. They don’t purchase cannabis specific insurance.

Cannabis insurance is becoming a very specialized niche in the insurance industry. Not all insurance agents/brokers have the knowledge about the risks in the cannabis industry. Insuring cannabis is not like insuring your house or automobile strictly because of the nature of what you’re trying to insure and how it’s viewed by the government. If you don’t have a policy that is specific to cannabis there may be certain exclusions based on the Schedule I status of cannabis or illegal substances. Those types of exclusions and exceptions can derail a cannabis business owner’s ability to collect on a policy.

3.  They don’t work closely enough with a cannabis insurance specialists

Working closely with someone that knows the cannabis insurance industry is critical when choosing a policy. Cannabis business owners have to ask their agents/brokers questions, lots of questions and the broker/agent needs to be able to answer those questions. Your agent should be asking you questions as well. Risk grows with your business, is your insurance growing with your business? What’s your tolerance for risk? How much can you afford to lose? Are you currently covered to avoid the catastrophic losses that can shut your doors? Those are some of the blunt but required questions cannabis business owners should be discussing and answering with a cannabis insurance specialist.

4. Cultivators fail to buy crop insurance

If you are a cultivator or a grower, you rely on your cannabis crop for your income. Cannabis is agriculture, just like corn, wheat, or soy. Cultivators have to protect their income, therefore they must have cannabis insurance specifically crop insurance. Every year out west in California and Arizona there are wildfires that destroy thousands of acres of land and crops. While we don’t know where and when these disasters are going to strike, history tells us there is a good chance they are going to happen. Cannabis cultivators must be prepared for this unfortunate reality.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, cannabis insurance, liability insurance for marijuana, cannabis recommendations5. Cannabis business owners don’t know whats in their policy

As a cannabis business owner knowledge is power. You have to be aware of the changing laws at the federal, state, and local level. You also need to know your business inside and out. Part of knowing your business is understanding what is and is not in your insurance policy. You have to know what is covered and what is excluded which could include cannabis specific exclusions even within a cannabis insurance policy. If you have cannabis insurance with cannabis exclusions, it may be time to look at another cannabis insurance provider. At S2S Insurance we pride ourselves on our experience and expertise and would be happy to review your policy and your risk exposure to help put your mind at ease.

 

Directors and Officers Insurance Integral In S2S Insurance Risk Management Strategy

As a member of the executive leadership team of an organization, there are certain responsibilities that fall under your umbrella whether they are explicitly stated or implied. As an owner of your business or even a board member of an organization, you are responsible for the management of your company’s affairs. That responsibility comes with the possibility of being sued if something is mishandled and leads to damage or injury. This is why we at S2S Insurance strongly urge business owners and managers to obtain directors and officers insurance. The cannabis industry is steadily growing as more and more states legalize cannabis. The growth of the industry requires more advanced risk management strategies due to the advanced risks that exist.

Companies large and small, public and private, for-profit and nonprofit all face director and officer (D&O) litigation risks. In a 2016 survey by Chubb, the average reported loss from a directors and officers judgment was $387,000. No matter how successful your cannabis related business is, the reality is that a substantial financial loss such as $387,000 could destroy your company instantly, or set you back to a point that may be difficult to recover from. If you are a director or officer at your organization, you could be sued for any number of reasons, including breach of fiduciary duty resulting in financial losses or even bankruptcy, fraud, failure to comply with workplace laws, lack of corporate governance to name a few. These suits can come from a variety of places including but not exclusive to employees, vendors, competitors, investors and of course customers.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, cannabis insurance specialists, directors and officers insurance, dispensary insurance, marijuanaA board member at GlaxoSmithkline is one of those being sued by the US state of Massachusetts over the US opioid addiction crisis.

The lawsuit seeks damages from 16 individuals, many of whom are members of the Sackler family, and Purdue.

“The Attorney General claims Purdue acted improperly by communicating with prescribers about scientific and medical information that FDA [the US Food and Drug Administration] has expressly considered and continues to approve,” it said.

In March a study by a federal agency found that opioid overdoses were up 30% over the previous year in the US, with Midwestern states having the highest jump in cases.

The Massachusetts lawsuit alleges that Purdue Pharma, the company behind the drug OxyContin, “created the [opioid] epidemic and profited from it through a web of illegal deceit”.

Ms Lewent was named in the lawsuit as one of those “who oversaw and engaged in a deadly, deceptive scheme to sell opioids in Massachusetts.”

s2s insurance, eric rahn, cannabis insurance, directors and officers insurance, testing lab insurance, cannabis businessNo business owner wants to find him or herself in court dealing with a directors and officers law suit, but there are precautions every business owner can take to help protect him or her self and their business in these situations. It is critical that as a director or officer of your company you consider investing in D&O insurance. Directors and officers liability insurance protects your personal assets along with your spouse’s if you are sued for mishandling the management of your company. S2S Insurance specialist, Eric Rahn, states “don’t make the mistake of assuming you are protected under your general liability policy when it comes to D&O insurance.” You should always review your policy with one of the marijuana insurance specialists at S2S Insurance and your attorney. Contact us today and we can begin to assess your risk and provide options to help you maintain a successful business no matter what might occur down the road.

read more at bbc.com

Cannabis Businesses Have To Trust Their Insurance Partners

A federal court in Colorado recently decided a cannabis case that may impact the marijuana insurance industry and cannabis businesses. The case involves a cannabis company suing its insurance company for failing to pay on claims. The insurance company denied the claims that fell under their general liability policy covering the company’s crop and an additional claim for robbery and damages as a result of the robbery. The insurance company actually took a counter-intuitive approach and argued that it’s own policy was an illegal contract based off the federal Controlled Substance Act. The court, correctly, dismissed that argument and sent the parties to arbitration over the remaining claims. s2s insurance, eric rahn, cannabis insurance, marijuana, cannabis businesses, cannabis only insurance

From an S2S Insurance perspective, this case is absolutely infuriating. Cannabis businesses and cannabis business owners have accepted a very challenging endeavor and often have invested their own hard earned time and money. The cannabis industry is complex, involving varied business types, sometimes under one company. Business owners have to deal with owning or leasing buildings, equipment, crops, flowers, oils, edibles, cash management, transportation and more. Cannabis businesses need reliable business partners, not adversaries willing to sabotage their own interest to negatively impact their clients during a time of need.

ArcView Group, which tracks the legal marijuana markets, recently estimated that legal U.S. pot sales could reach $6.7 billion in 2016. As the legal marijuana economy has grown, insurance coverage for this emerging industry has become a hot topic. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in The Green Earth Wellness Center, LLC v. Atain Specialty Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-03452-MSK-NYW, 2016 WL 632357 (D. Colorado Feb. 17, 2016) was recently faced with determining the extent of coverage under a commercial property policy for damage sustained to marijuana plants at a growing facility and addressing whether legal marijuana was even insurable.

Finally, the Court declined to follow Tracy v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co., 2012 WL 928186 (D. Hawaii March 16, 2012) and declare the policy unenforceable as against public policy citing, in particular, the “several additional years evidencing a continued erosion of any clear and consistent federal public policy in this area.”

The Green Earth decision emphasizes the need for insurers writing risks in the developing legal marijuana industry to be as explicit as possible in their policies as to what is and what is not covered.

S2S Insurance, Eric Rahn, cannabis businesses, marijuana liability insurance, cannabis liability insuranceCannabis businesses require an insurance company that knows the marijuana industry and has intimate knowledge of insurance and how the two work together. Some insurance companies try to fit their round insurance mold into the square peg of the cannabis industry, and in doing so cannot protect their clients the way their clients need to be protected. At S2S Insurance we are commercial cannabis insurance experts who work with dispensaries, growers, cultivators, realtors, equipment manufactures, laboratories, and a number of other businesses within the cannabis industry.

When speaking to Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance about this issue he stated, “Your insurance specialist should be a key adviser to your business, just as your accountant and your attorney.” Cannabis businesses and cannabis business owners must take the time to work with an experienced team like S2S Insurance and do a comprehensive risk analysis to protect said business. Your insurance partner should be helping to protect you as you grow, not sue you when you hit a bump in the road. 

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Employer’s Protection Liability and Sexual Harassment

The rise of the #MeToo movement and women fighting back against sexual harassment is having a direct impact on American businesses large and small. The largest visible impact can be seen in Hollywood and in the entertainment industry. Less visible is the impact the movement is having on small businesses including cannabis related businesses. Employer’s protection liability becomes more necessary as these issues continue to arise.

Small and midsize businesses like those found in the world of cannabis are not immune to claims of sexual harassment and discrimination. A study by Source Media found that women at companies that employ fewer than 100 people are more likely to say that sexual harassment is highly prevalent in their industry than those at larger firms. This translates directly to cannabis related business and employers as many of these business are in the start up stage and often start with less than 100 employees. Harassment claims are not going away and instead are increasing, which could represent substantial financial losses for your business, especially if you are a small startup. The average discrimination claim among small or midsize businesses is more than $100,000, with some resulting in damages more than $500,000. Employer’s protection liability insurance policies generally cover claims made by workers who sue your business for violating their legal rights. Examples include sexual harassment, wrongful termination and retaliation.

S2S Insurance, Eric Rahn, cannabis business, cannabis insurance, marijuana insurance, employer's protection liabilityAccording to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you should start by telling the person who is doing the harassment to stop — if you feel comfortable doing so. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, or if the behavior continues despite your efforts, there are some key steps to take.

According to the EEOC, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you have the legal right to be protected from discrimination in the workplace if your company has 15 or more employees. State laws or employer policies might also offer additional protections.

Check to see if your company has an anti-harassment policy. It may be on the employer’s web site or in their employee handbook, or you can get it from human resources.

s2s insurance, cannabis sexual harassment, dispensary insurance, marijuana testing lab insuranceWhen making the decision to invest in a cannabis related business one of the first questions all potential investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners should be asking is what are the risks? At S2S Insurance we specialize in helping you evaluate those risks and protect your investment based on the various levels of exposure found in the risk assessment. Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance states, “Cannabis insurance is becoming a very specialized niche in the insurance industry. Not all insurance agents/brokers have the knowledge about the risks in the cannabis industry.” At S2S Insurance we recognize the growing risk associated with sexual harassment in the work place and would review employer’s protection policies with all of our clients based on the size and make up of their cannabis related business. An employer’s protection liability policy is a good form of risk mitigation, but it should be understood that policy limits apply and all policies should be reviewed by the business owner, a qualified S2S Insurance agent, and an attorney.

read more at cnbc.com