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Marijuana Law Professional Discusses the Growing Need For Cannabis Coverage

marijuana law professional discusses the growing need for cannabis insurance coverage

The demand for cannabis insurance specialists is increasing as general awareness spreads about medical marijuana and the legalization wave continues across the country. One marijuana law professional, Ian Stewart from Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, has been speaking at conferences frequently discussing the growing need for cannabis coverage.

Stewart has talked about the need for cybersecurity insurance in the cannabis space considering the vast amounts of data that is being collected from seed-to-sale programs and medical marijuana programs. He has also touched upon the potential of cannabis product liability claims from untested or improperly packaged marijuana products. In an interview by the Insurance Journal, Ian Stewart expounded on some more cannabis business related risks he is foreseeing.

cyber security is a significant risk for cannabis companies and marijuana insurance is becoming even more important

Insurance Journal: What sort of unique or interesting claims do you think that we’re seeing, expect to see, or are we seeing from these cannabis coverages?

Stewart: However, I think that the sort of unspoken danger that a lot of certainly the licensed operators don’t appreciate is the risk of consumer class actions. You know, basically there are cases where a consumer will come in and they’ll by a product that is technically adulterated or mislabeled or contaminated in some way, maybe they’re violating some state regulation, and the state cannabis regulations are really onerous. It’s really hard for operators to be fully compliant.

So, the trick is these lawyers will find a product that is in some way violating a state regulation and then file consumer class action under state consumer protection laws. Frequently those are uninsured or under-insured claims, and they’re dangerous because they have fee shifting where the attorneys can get their attorney’s fees, there’s statutory damages, disbursement of profits. They’re pretty dangerous, and we’re starting to see those get filed now in California and elsewhere.

Insurance Journal: You mentioned something in your talk (at PLUS) about doctors looking for coverage for prescribing marijuana and that you expect that to pick up. How do you see that picking up? Where do you see these doctors going to find coverage, and what sort of coverages are they going be looking for?

Stewart: We’re seeing more and more issues of interactions, you know, overlay where in the past it may have been a patient who just has a drug history of marijuana and cocaine. But now that patient may be adding CBD or marijuana to their panel of medications, and maybe there’s overlay with mental health issues or substance abuse. So, it can be really difficult for physicians now to tread those waters, get informed consent, adequately advise their patients, and in some cases even offer CBD or marijuana instead of opiates, for example.

While access to traditional forms of insurance is a little more limited for cannabis business professionals, as long as you connect with the right cannabis insurance specialists, very good alternatives exist for you. Contact Eric Rahn or David Rahn of S2S Insurance Specialists to find out more.

Read more at InsuranceJournal.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

Cannabis Industry Top Paying Jobs

The beauty of the cannabis industry is that as it becomes less taboo, more opportunities will arise for more individuals to profit in the flourishing field. Not everyone involved in the cannabis industry can be a dispensary owner or a cannabis grower. There is a need for budteneders, bud trimmers and cannabis insurance providers like S2S Insurance Specialists. While these jobs are all important and require certain skills, there is also a demand for jobs that require a more advanced skill set and knowledge. These jobs are more than likely to turn into careers for those qualified, and not just part time jobs while in school.

The jobs cannabis industry employers are most eager to fill usually require chemistry, botany, and/or engineering degrees. The jobs deal heavily with the science of manipulating the cannabis plant for a desired product or effect. Many of these higher skilled positions can pay in the six figure range for larger companies with all signs pointing towards long term job security.

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Budtenders, who sell marijuana to customers at dispensaries, typically make about $14 an hour. The job requires an in-depth knowledge of cannabis strains and products and a bartender-like rapport with customers. In Colorado and also Michigan, where medical marijuana is legal, budtenders are required to have licenses.

The greatest demand, according to James Yagielo, co-founder and owner of the Florida-based headhunter HempStaff, is for master extractors. They process the active components THC and CBD from marijuana and hemp to make oils, concentrates, edibles and other products.

The master extractor at Acme Elixirs, a producer of THC and CBD chews and vape pens, earns $250,000 a year, said founder and CEO Peter Pietrangeli. But he said that even with that level of pay it’s hard to recruit and keep these workers “because after a while they’ll get the funding to build their own labs.”

Becoming a master extractor requires a PhD in biochemistry with a background in engineering, which means there’s a small pool.

He said job seekers with degrees in botany, chemistry or pharmacology are the next generation of master growers and lab directors. Like master extractors, lab directors and master growers can earn big dollars.

“I know some master growers who make more than $200,000. They’re valuable,” said William Simpson, CEO of Golden Leaf Holdings, an Oregon-based chain of dispensaries, cannabis farms and manufacturers. “That is going to be a very sought after, difficult position.”

Elad Spiegel, director of cultivation and breeding for Golden Leaf, said his annual pay is $120,000. He has a bachelor’s in plant science from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and started working in the cannabis industry in his native Israel before joining Golden Leaf in 2015.

cannabis insurance, s2s insurance, david rahn, cannabis industry, marijuana professional liability insurance, cannabis insurance specialistsHaving a master extractor or master grower can be a benefit for a growing cannabis company. But, like anything in business there is risk involved. Certain professionals, because of their expertise, are held to a higher standard of liability due to the impact of their potential mistakes. These professionals are well trained and skilled at not making mistakes, but they do happen. If a mistake does happen, you as a business owner want to be prepared. Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance asks a simple question when potential clients waiver on cannabis insurance, “When the shit hits the fan can you afford to clean up the mess?” Professional liability insurance is designed to protect professionals against liability incurred as a result of errors and omissions in performing their professional services. This protects the professional, and with the right risk management strategy, can protect your business as well. Contact S2S Insurance Specialists today to see what we can do for your cannabis business.

read more at money.cnn.com

Worker’s Compensation Insurance, A Key Component For Cannabis Business Owners

Cannabis business owners have a great deal of responsibility when running a cannabis business. Aside from the day-to-day business dealings with inventory, revenue, compliance, employee relations and more. Often certain aspects of insurance needs and requirements can be overlooked. One of those requirements is worker’s compensation insurance. For those that don’t know, worker’s compensation is a state mandated program that provides certain benefits for employees that suffer injuries or illnesses on the job. In many states the program provides coverage even if the employee is at fault, or put another way, if the employee causes the injury and the injury is job related.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, workers compensation, cannabis insurance, dispensary insurance, cannabis lab testing insuranceWorker’s compensation programs covers most work related injuries typically unless an employee is intoxicated or under the influence of an illegal drug. That last detail can come into play for cannabis business owners and their employees because of the Schedule I classification of cannabis which deems marijuana as an illegal drug similar to cocaine or heroin. This possible exception is why it is critical that cannabis business owners work with experienced cannabis insurance specialists like Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance Specialists when reviewing and investing in worker’s compensation policies for their business. Worker’s compensation will pay for diagnosing and treating your injury, and will also pay hospital and medical expenses that accompany that diagnosis. Some state worker’s compensation programs may also pay for rehabilitation, retraining, and other benefits.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is proposing $225,046 in penalties against a Colorado manufacturer for machine safety hazards after an employee was killed while working on a forging machine.

OSHA issued citations to Vforge Inc. in Lakewood for two willful and two serious safety violations for failing to develop lockout/tagout procedures, provide adequate machine guarding and train employees in a language they understand. OSHA also placed Vforge in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

The citations say that an employee who had almost no ability to communicate in English was killed while servicing a press at Vforge’s factory on March 23. He had not been trained on proper safety procedures.

“Employers are legally required to implement appropriate procedures and provide training to protect their employees’ safety,” stated OSHA Englewood Area Office Director David Nelson. “This tragedy could have been prevented if safety measures were in place to prevent machinery from starting while being serviced.”

s2s insurance, eric rahn, workers compensation, cannabis insurance, who insures the marijuana industry, marijuana insurance specialistsNot all employers are required to have worker’s compensation coverage. The state where your business is located will dictate the requirements for worker’s compensation coverage. Employer’s responsibility to provide coverage often depends on how many employees it has, what type of business it is, and what type of work the employees are doing. It is important to note that every state excludes certain types of workers. To learn more about what your specific state requires and what exclusions exist in your state you should contact a cannabis insurance specialist at S2S Insurance for information specific to your situation. Not having worker’s compensation coverage, or not having proper procedures in place to protect your employees can cost employers thousands of dollars in court costs, fines, and penalties. It is important as a cannabis business owner to have a risk management strategy that includes worker’s compensation coverage.

read more at workcompcentral.com

New Opportunities In The World of Cannabis Require Cannabis Insurance

The cannabis industry is growing, and it is no secret. 30 states across the country have legalized cannabis for medicinal use and 9 different states have both medicinal and recreational marijuana. As the states legalize the drug, the cannabis market in these states has created opportunities for multiple business types and business owners. If you are opening a cannabis business you undoubtedly have a great deal of responsibility and are constantly reviewing what your company needs and what expenses you can save. One of those expenses you must account for is cannabis insurance.

Every small business should protect their assets with insurance, and for marijuana companies, they need cannabis insurance. Defending against claims and lawsuits can be a costly and a time-consuming process. Yet many cannabis business owners risk everything they’ve worked for by not having a risk management strategy. There are multiple types of essential cannabis specific insurance coverage options for cannabis business owners, both large and small. S2S Insurance provides multiple types of insurance: D&O – Directors and Officers liability, EPLI-Employer’s Protection liability, Product liability, Cargo/Transportation/Warehouse, Professional liability, Worker’s Compensation, Property and Casualty, and Cyber Defense.

Donnegan Systems Cannabis Storage, Eric Rahn, S2S insurance, cannabis insurance specialists

Donnegan Systems Cannabis Storage

Since the 1970s, law enforcement officers across New England have stored marijuana they seized in secure evidence lockers purchased from Donnegan Systems in Northborough.

Today, the storage solutions company says a full 10 percent of its revenue comes from licensed marijuana cultivators, which are snapping up its sliding “ActivRAC” shelves to maximize the amount of cannabis they can grow in a warehouse. And with recreational marijuana sales about to start in Massachusetts and other states contemplating their own commercial cannabis markets, Donnegan Systems chief executive Jeffrey Loreaux expects that figure will soon pass 20 percent.

“We’re already reinvesting the money we’ve made in cannabis,” Loreaux said in an interview. “We’ve hired more service technicians, more salespeople, more installation crews — it’s provided a lot of growth and it will continue to. We definitely see a huge opportunity here.”

cannabis insurance, Eric Rahn, S2S insurance, dispensary insurance, lab testing insurance, marijuana business risk, marijuana insuranceIt is important for cannabis businesses to partner with an insurance carrier that understands the cannabis business so that the policy can be tailored to fit its specific needs. For instance, if your business subcontracts some work to others, it is important for the policy to cover the work of those subcontractors. It is also important to remember that a standard insurance policy may exclude certain contraband such as marijuana. Cannabis is still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA and is therefore illegal federally. The federal illegal status of the drug has not stopped legalization in individual states, but it does preclude some standard insurance policies from paying out should an incident occur. Working with an experienced cannabis insurance professional like Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance will allow you as a businesses owner to develop a risk management strategy specifically crafted for your cannabis business. As with any insurance policy, coverage limits do apply and therefore you should always review your policy with an experienced insurance agent along with your attorney. Contact S2S Insurance Specialists today to develop a risk management strategy for your cannabis business.

read more at bostonglobe.com

Cannabis Cash Creates Threat For Cannabis Business Owners

The cannabis industry is growing year-over-year as individual states legalize the plant. The industry is growing because of legalization, but also because of market demand. People are spending their hard earned cash on cannabis every day, which therein lies the problem. Cannabis cash is not accepted by most financial institutions and leaves cannabis business owners with few options on how to deal with the surplus of cash. When we reference cannabis cash, we are speaking directly to the actual printed currency used in transactions. Because financial institutions are beholden to federal law, most financial institutions frown upon participating in any transaction that involves the exchange or use of cannabis cash.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, marijuana insurance, dispensary insurance, lab testing insurance, cannabis cashAs long as the federal government views cannabis as a Schedule I drug along the lines of heroin and cocaine, financial institutions are at risk of being audited, fined, and possibly shut down for violating federal law if they partake in any transactions using cannabis cash. At S2S Insurance we see the accumulation of large amounts of cash problematic for a number of different reasons. “Cash Only” businesses invite criminal activity because criminals have an opportunity to obtain a large amount of cash that cannot be traced and can be used quickly to avoid capture. Cannabis business owners become targets for breaking and entering, robbery, and vandalism. An attempted robbery whether successful or not can leave a great deal of property damage, from broken windows or doors, to broken equipment, display cases, vaults or point of sale devises. That type of damage is costly to any business owner, not just those in the cannabis industry.

The marijuana business is booming in the US. According to a report from the investment bank Cowen, legal marijuana is set to hit $75 billion in sales by 2030, putting it on par with soda consumption. Marijuana cultivators are now listed on the NASDAQ, have former politicians on their board, and are backed by heavyweight investors like Leon Cooperman.

But for many big institutions, the risks of banking and lending to the cannabis industry under the current federal mandate just aren’t worth it, especially with all the extra paperwork and scrutiny it can generate.

“For cannabis businesses, this means that access to the basic financial products like checking and savings accounts can be elusive,” John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies issues pertaining to marijuana legalization, told Business Insider.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, marijuana insurance specialists, liability insurance for marijuana, dispensary insurance, cannabis cashTyler Beuerlein, a VP at Hypur, an Arizona-based fintech startup that acts as a middleman between banks and cannabis companies, told Business Insider that he believes there are “less than 30” banks willing to do business with the booming cannabis industry in the US.

That means the costs of doing business and remaining compliant with the byzantine patchwork of state and federal laws guiding the cannabis sector are much higher than in any other industry.

Every cannabis business owner that has the “cannabis cash” problem, should take the first step in protecting their business by getting cannabis insurance. Standard insurance polices will not be enough because of the uniqueness of the cannabis industry. Cannabis business owners should be working with experienced cannabis insurance specialists like Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance, to help determine the right risk management strategies for their business.

read more at businessinsider.com

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.

Qualified Cannabis Insurance Broker, cannabis concentrates, cannabis insurance specialists, insurance for marijuana

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

How Workers Compensation Insurance Benefits Cannabis Businesses

As a cannabis business owner there are certain responsibilities and requirements that cannot be avoided. One requirement that causes trouble for some employers is workers compensation.  Most states require employers to carry workers compensation insurance with few exceptions other than number of employees. States vary on the number of employees any employer must have before carrying workers compensation but it can be as few as five or even one employee. While on the surface carrying workers compensation can seem like an unnecessary burden for the employer, it is important to recognize the benefits of the coverage.

cannabis workers compensation, s2s insurance, eric rahn, dispensary insurance, lab testing insuranceWorkers compensation insurance and coverage is designed to protect the employer in instances where an employee gets hurt on the job. If this coverage were not mandated or not available to employers, businesses would be at risk for law suits with every employee that walked through the door. Whether you are a start up cannabis dispensary, or a large manufacturer of cannabis goods, a single law suit could ruin your business in the blink of an eye. Even if a business is successful in defending against an employee law suit, they would have spent thousands of dollars in court and legal fees to do so. If they were to lose the case they would have those same fees, plus the cost of damages, and in some instances they may also have to pay the legal fees of the employee! Now imagine that scenario but add in the fact that if you don’t have workers compensation insurance in a state where it’s required, you can also be fined, even see your business possibly temporarily shut down until the matter is resolved.

The California Supreme Court on Thursday, Aug. 23 sided with employers in a fight over the right of workers to sue over treatment for injuries that occur on the job.

Workers receiving medical care through the workers’ compensation insurance of their employer generally cannot sue a doctor who decides whether treatment is needed, the court said in a unanimous decision.

The ruling came in the case of injured worker Kirk King, who says he suffered seizures after a doctor discontinued his anxiety medication.

The justices said King had to pursue his claims against the doctor through a separate workers’ compensation system set up by the Legislature, not through the courts.

The California Chamber of Commerce and insurance groups had warned that a ruling in favor of King would open the door to additional lawsuits that would drive up employers’ premiums for workers’ compensation insurance.

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Another benefit to workers compensation whether for traditional employers or for the cannabis industry is that workers compensation insurance is monitored by state governments. The full benefit of this fact may vary among states, but as referenced in the article above, state governments look to balance the rights of the worker with the costs to the employer. Employers will always want to spend less and employees will always want more, but states do their best to be a neutral arbiter when crafting laws and legislation dealing with workers compensation, as evidenced above. Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance makes a concise statement regarding workers compensation, “chances are you have to have it, and you do not want to get caught without it.”

read more at ocregister.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.