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Michigan Contaminated Caregiver Medical Marijuana Recalled

In January, 50 pounds of medical marijuana produced by mostly Michigan caregivers was recalled after it was discovered that it was contaminated with E. coli, arsenic, salmonella and cadmium. Marijuana lab test facilities are mandated in almost all states that have legalized medical cannabis with the exception of states like Oregon.

Heavy metals, microbials and other toxins are commonly found in marijuana, making cannabis lab testing facilities a necessity. In states like Michigan, cannabis testing facility insurance is advisable since the science behind testing for toxins and potency require sophisticated equipment like spectrometers.

failed medical marijuana in michigan gets recalled reinforcing the need for marijuana insurance

The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board is allowing licensed facilities to continue purchasing caregiver-produced product through March 31 to close a supply gap. Registered caregivers have been supplying a limited number of patients for about a decade.

Patients must sign a release if they purchase caregiver-produced marijuana, said David Harns, a spokesman for the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

“The products will not be required to have met state testing standards, so patients need to understand that fact and assume the potential risk that the products may present,” he said.

Patients can have the products examined at a safety compliance facility, Harns said.

The Michigan Coalition of Independent Cannabis Testing Laboratories, which is made up of licensed testers, growers and processors, said the selective enforcement of safety regulations doesn’t ensure patients have access to safe medical marijuana.

“Under this new ruling, Michigan’s most vulnerable patients are buying purported medical cannabis products that could legitimately harm them,” the group said in a statement.

Marijuana product liability insurance and cannabis lab testing facility insurance is very important in order for companies to have the coverage to survive setbacks. The cannabis industry is still in its infancy and while the industry waits for federal marijuana reform, cannabis companies need all the back up they can get. Reach out to David Rahn or Eric Rahn with S2S Insurance Specialists to find out about all of your marijuana insurance needs.

Read more at WoodTV.com

CBD And What You Need To Know About it | S2S Insurance Specialists

CBD, there are a lot of questions about what it is, what it can do, and whether it is legal. We’ll help clarify some of this for you to help you make a decision as to whether it is right for you. What is CBD? CBD is officially known as cannabidiol, it is typically extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant. One of the main keys to the extract is that it is not psychoactive because it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Without THC, there is no high. The ability to use cannabidiol without getting high makes it an attractive option for many that seek the medical benefits of cannabis and hemp, but want to avoid the high for various reasons.

CBD, cannabidiol, David Rahn, cannabis insurance specialists, marijuana insuranceCannabidiol oil is steadily gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, because there is evidence that suggests it may help treat a variety of ailments from chronic pain to anxiety. There is some controversy around CBD oil because of the stigma attributed to recreational marijuana use. There is growing awareness about the possible health benefits of this natural elixir.

Until now, CBD has existed in a kind of legal gray area: In many places it is not necessarily legal, but it’s also not illegal. But this month, the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill will remove hemp and CBD from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of “Schedule 1” controlled substances, making it an ordinary agricultural commodity and allowing it to be legally sold in all 50 states.

With laws around it relaxing, CBD is going mainstream. Beverage giants like Coca- Cola KO, +2.52% and Pepsi PEP, +0.78% are eying CBD-infused beverages as consumption of traditional soda declines. The market for CBD products is anticipated to grow to more than $2 billion in total sales by 2020. People are using CBD for anxiety, sports injuries, and face serums, and even giving it to their pets.

Cannabis plants contain hundreds of chemical components called cannabinoids, but the two main ones are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol. THC is an intoxicating substance that interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in a user’s brain, activating reward mechanisms that produce dopamine and get a user high.

CBD does not affect these receptors the same way and, therefore, does not have a psychoactive effect. Like THC, the extract can be consumed in liquid and other edible forms or through a vape pen.

cannabidiol, CBD, dispensary insurance, Eric Rahn, lab testing insurance, who insures the marijuana industryWhile CBD is advertised to treat insomnia, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, there is little scientific evidence to prove it is effective for these ailments. Cannabidiol may be effective for depression and anxiety treatment, studies on rats have shown, but there’s little research on the effects of the extract on humans.

If you are looking into starting a cannabis related business around cannabis and hemp extracts, your need for a risk management strategy does not change just because the product does not have THC in it. Business owners should reach out to a cannabis insurance specialist like Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance Specialists to help with your insurance needs.

read more at marketwatch.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

Medical Cannabis and Tips On How To Use It

S2S Insurance, Eric Rahn, marijuana insurance, medical marijuana dispensary insurance, marijuana lab testing insuranceThere are a number of different reasons people are happy to see views on cannabis change. Some people like the idea of being able to use the plant for recreation without having to worry about breaking the law. Other people see the potential financial boom that could come from legalization and want to be in on the rush before the rest of the investing world catch wind. There are also those who see cannabis as a medical wonder drug. Medical cannabis has been shown as a possible aid to a number of different ailments and medical problems. Legalizing medical cannabis provides an option to people that want to try non traditional medicines to help with their various medical issues. Many states that are legalizing medical cannabis have strict rules in regards to access. There are also a number of things a new medical cannabis user should know before going to their local dispensary. Here are some tips for those new to medical cannabis.

For starters, always make sure to bring your medical cannabis card with you when going to a dispensary. In states where patients must register to be able to obtain cannabis via a dispensary we highly recommend that you keep your identification card with you at all times. No dispensary in places where registration is required by law, will sell any cannabis to anyone that does not have the appropriate credentials. In fact, you won’t even be able to get through the front door.

Also, once you have your card do your best to avoid delaying having it renewed. Since most locations where medical cannabis is allowed require that you make a follow-up appointment with your doctor in order to re-register, you will want to plan ahead of time in order to avoid any lapses in coverage that could potentially leave you without access to your medicine. We would recommend beginning the renewal process at least 30 days out from your card’s expiration date to hopefully sidestep any snags.

Be sure to do your homework before you even go to the dispensary for the first time. While your friendly local budtender will be happy to help with any questions that you may have, it is always a good idea to do some research with regards to what type of cannabis strains and/or products would work best for the condition(s) that you are looking to treat. This way you will be well prepared for your first dispensary shopping experience, making it easier for everyone involved. If the dispensary you choose has a website, be sure to check it out as most will have at least some of their inventory available for you to peruse ahead of time.

S2S Insurance, Eric Rahn, cannabis insurance, medical cannabis, dispensary insurance, marijuana product liability insuranceIf you are looking to get into the cannabis business and you think that medical cannabis is the way to go, don’t forget about cannabis insurance. States have strict rules regarding testing, labeling and who you can sell to. It is not only important to know these rules but protect your cannabis business with a marijuana insurance policy in case something out of your control happens and your faced with sanctions from a state agency or a law suit from a disgruntled customer. Eric Rahn and the professionals at S2S Insurance Specialists can help you put together a risk management strategy to protect you and your cannabis business investment. Contact them today!

read more at thenationalmarijuananews.com

The History of Cannabis – A Quick Look At The History of the Plant

The cannabis industry in the United States and across the world continues to expand at a rapid pace. Canada, Jamaica, Argentina, Spain, The Netherlands, even Russia have either decriminalized cannabis for personal use or legalized recreational use, growing and the sale of cannabis. There are many other countries and regions where legalization and decriminalization are happening as well. As the world becomes more accepting of cannabis and begins to remove the stigma, we should take a closer look at the history of cannabis.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, cannabis history, cannabis insurance, marijuana lab testing insurance, liability insurance for cannabisMuch of the reasoning behind the legalization of cannabis deals directly in the history of cannabis. Cannabis is not something that hippies discovered for the first time during Woodstock. The use of cannabis in medicine can be tracked as far back as 5,000 years ago to Asia. It showed up in the Americas with the first European settlers because of it’s textile uses. Below is an excerpt from “A Complete History of Marijuana, According to Scientists” found at Marijuana Moment.

Before its medical properties became known, the fibrous plant was commonly used for textile manufacturing. Archeologists have discovered “sophisticated plaited basketry” based on cannabis at Czech Palaeolithic sites, for example.

“In fact, it has been referred to as the oldest known cultivated fibre plant and even today it is used as a constituent of fishing nets,” the researchers, who are from Italy and Sweden, wrote.

There are a couple schools of thought on this topic. But from a “Western-centered viewpoint,” researchers generally believe that natural events caused the plant to be accidentally burned, inadvertently revealing its “psychotropic nature.”

There’s certainly room for debate on this, but the researchers said that the timeline started about 5,000 years ago in China. The so-called “father” of Chinese agriculture, emperor Chen Nung, included the plant in the first Chinese pharmacopeia. That text said cannabis was prescribed for “fatigue, rheumatism and malaria.”

Marijuana didn’t show up on American shores for thousands of years after it was first discovered. It was “not known in the Americas until the ar

rival and settlement of the first European colonists,” according to the researchers. “During this period [cannabis] was used primarily for the strength and the resistance of its fibres.”

Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus coined the term “Cannabis sativa” in the middle of the 18th century, the researchers wrote. Subsequently, French naturalist Jean Lam

ark distinguished between Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, writing that the former was a European plant and the latter came from “Indian origin varieties.”

history of cannabis, S2S Insurance, David Rahn, marijuana crop insurance, dispensary insurance, cannabis recommendationsThis snippet of the history of cannabis tells us that it has been around a long time with many uses and possible benefits. What the history of cannabis also tells us is that we are likely only scratching the surface as to what the full benefits of the plant are. Due to the Schedule I status of Cannabis, which makes it a controlled substance in the United States, there has been limited ability for scientists to study cannabis. Legalization of cannabis allows for scientists to take the history of cannabis and use modern scientific testing technology and knowledge to understand the plant and its benefits better. At S2S Insurance Specialists, we not only want to help you with your risk management needs, but we are also cannabis legalization advocates. A better understanding of the history of cannabis, the benefits of cannabis and the legal implications of cannabis, assists us in helping our clients in this complicated field. Contact Eric Rahn today for your cannabis business risk management needs.

read more at marijuanamoment.net

THC Amounts The Same In Different Cannabis Strains According To Study

If you are in the cannabis industry chances are you know what the letters THC stand for. Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. THC is specifically listed under Schedule I by US federal law under the Controlled Substances Act for having “no accepted medical use” and a “lack of accepted safety.” According to Gallup’s most recent poll, 66% of American voters and everyone in the cannabis industry in the United States or worldwide, will tell you they strongly disagree with this classification of THC and the reasoning behind it. In order to change the United States government’s view on THC and other countries, it is important to understand this component of cannabis.

THC, Eric Rahn, cannabis insurance specialists, s2s insurance specialists, marijuana chemistryOne way to begin to have a better understanding of THC is to figure out how much of it is in cannabis? That is exactly what research from UBC’s Okanagan campus set out to do and was able to come to a conclusion. The research from the Canadian university determined that many strains of cannabis have virtually identical levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), despite various claims and names given in the unregulated and regulated markets.

“It is estimated that there are several hundred or perhaps thousands of strains of cannabis currently being cultivated,” says Professor Susan Murch, who teaches chemistry at UBC Okanagan. “We wanted to know how different they truly are, given the variety of unique and exotic names.”

Cannabis breeders have historically selected strains to produce THC, CBD or both, she explains. But the growers have had limited access to different types of plants and there are few records of the parentage of different strains.

THC, S2S Insurance Specialists, marijuana insurance, cannabis lab testing insurance, understanding marijuana“People have had informal breeding programs for a long time,” Murch says. “In a structured program we would keep track of the lineage, such as where the parent plants came from and their characteristics. With unstructured breeding, which is the current norm, particular plants were picked for some characteristic and then given a new name.”

The research shows that most strains, regardless of their origin or name, had the same amount of THC and CBD. They further discovered that breeding highly potent strains of cannabis impacts the genetic diversity within the crop, but not THC or CBD levels.

“A high abundance compound in a plant, such as THC or CBD, isn’t necessarily responsible for the unique medicinal effects of certain strains,” says Mudge. “Understanding the presence of the low abundance cannabinoids could provide valuable information to the medical cannabis community.”

Cannabis has been around a long time, but many scientists and cannabis enthusiasts believe there is a great deal we still don’t know about the plant. An understanding of the amount of THC in various strains is not only interesting but can help states and countries make more sensible laws when it comes to regulation. This information can help cannabis testing labs establish more accurate baseline amounts of THC when testing cannabis for various reasons. At S2S Insurance Specialists we not only provide risk management strategies for cannabis companies, we are advocates for the legalization and safe use of cannabis. Contact Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance today for assistance with your cannabis business risk management strategy.

read more at phys.org

Opioid Epidemic Presents Lessons For Cannabis Businesses

The opioid epidemic has impacted nearly every state in the union. People are overdosing and in many cases dying by the thousands every day because of opioid abuse. Statistics in many recreational marijuana states show that the rate of opioid overdose deaths, along with the amount of marijuana prescriptions being filled, have lessened as of late. Many cannabis legalization advocates use these statistics to leverage their argument for legalization which would benefit the cannabis industry. While there is some positive for the cannabis industry there are lessons to be learned by the cannabis industry from the manufacturers of these opioid drugs. Opioid manufacturers are being sued by states, municipalities, and various advocacy groups across the country in class action law suits. The drug manufacturers are being sued for contributing to the growing opioid crisis and misleading the public on the addictive nature of the drugs and pushing them as an effective way to treat chronic pain, contrary to overwhelming evidence.

s2s insurance, eric rahn, medical marijuana insurance, opioid epidemic, cannabis insurance, marijuana patient dataYou may be asking what is the connection to cannabis businesses and how does it tie to cannabis insurance? While cannabis does not seem to create the same issues as opioids, there is no guarantee or sure way to know how people will respond when they take any substance. If consumers and or the public feel that they have been harmed in any way due to consuming cannabis manufactured and sold legally, there is potential for a claim against the dispensary, the cannabis lab testing facility or the manufacturer. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O insurance), is a special type of coverage that protects cannabis companies against claims that a service your company provided caused your customer or client to suffer financial harm due to mistakes on your part, or because you failed to perform some service. If one of your employees gives a customer the wrong information about a product, or a product is mislabeled, or if any number of things occur that could lead to perceived harm, your business could be held liable for those damages.

A coalition of 41 states’ attorneys general have served five major opioid manufacturers with subpoenas seeking information about how these companies marketed and sold prescription opioids. The coalition is also demanding documents and information related to distribution practices from three drug distributors.

The investigative subpoenas and document requests were sent to pharmaceutical manufacturers Endo International, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd./Cephalon Inc. and Allergan. The group also served a supplemental investigative subpoena to Purdue Pharma. Documents were also requested of three major pharmaceutical distributors: AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson.

S2S Insurance, cannabis insurance specialists, marijuana insurance, Eric Rahn, opioid epidemic

The fight against opioid manufacturers is also extending to local municipalities, who are waging their own wars against the deadly epidemic. Bensalem Township is bringing claims against several drug companies and their subsidiaries, including Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson and Endo Pharmaceuticals. Similar litigation is already underway in Oklahoma, Ohio and Mississippi. However, in Philadelphia, construction workers are especially susceptible to injury and, as a result, often turn to opioids for rehabilitation, Dougherty said. But addiction is never far behind.

S2S Insurance Specialists are aware of the risks that may be out of your control as a cannabis business owner. It is important the business owners work with cannabis insurance specialists who understand the landscape. Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance asks, “if the crap hits the fan, are you prepared or will you be left holding a crap covered fan?” Contact Eric or any of the specialists at S2S Insurance today.

read more at policymed.com

Workers Compensation Insurance For The Cannabis Industry

When it comes to employees getting injured on the job, most states require employers to carry workers compensation insurance. Typically the requirement for workers compensation is for businesses with a certain number of employees or more than the specified required number. Workers compensation policies pay for the medical costs and lost wages for employees that are injured while performing their job duties in an official work capacity. These policies pay damages regardless of who is at fault in the accident.marijuana insurance, cannabis recommendations, liability insurance for marijuana

As workers compensation insurance relates to employees using medical marijuana for pain management, each state varies on what they will and will not allow employers to reimburse or cover. In the state of Maine, the state’s Supreme Court decided that employers were not required to cover employees medical marijuana use, relying on the Schedule 1 status of the drug and it’s illegality. In New Jersey, the issue has not made it to the state’s high court, but a lower level court has stated that employers can pay for an employee’s use of medical marijuana while receiving worker’s compensation. Due to the nature of the cannabis business, if a cannabis employee was injured on the job, a business owner would need to know if medical marijuana is a treatment option that can be paid for through workers compensation.

A judge last month ordered Freehold Township to reimburse Steven McNeary for the marijuana he uses to treat his muscular spasticity, a decision that could set precedent in New Jersey, especially as more people are now able to qualify for the medical marijuana program. Freehold Township had argued that since marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is illegal on the federal level, the township would be breaking the law by essentially providing the marijuana for McNeary.

While this may be the first time a workers’ compensation judge has ordered a public employer to pay for medical marijuana, private employers in New Jersey have already been compelled to do so. Now that New Jersey’s medical marijuana has been expanded to include conditions such as chronic pain, more workers may be able to qualify for the program and have it paid through workers’ compensation.cannabis insurance, who insures the cannabis industry, insurance for cannabis

The lack of consistency between states on issues like workers compensation insurance and cannabis is why cannabis business owners should be working with experienced insurance companies for their risk management needs. While employers are not required to cover medical marijuana in some states, it is important to remember the benefits of cannabis worker’s compensation insurance for cannabis employees. Employers can be exposed to a number of different risks if they do not have proper insurance coverage. In some states a business may receive a fine for each day workers compensation coverage is not maintained. Some states may prevent businesses from operating until the owner provides proof of coverage. Owners may be held personally liable for paying employees medical expenses and lost wages. Employers without proper coverage not only risk damaging financial losses for their business, but in some instances personal financial losses as well. It is absolutely critical that business owners work with an insurance company and agent that can help them navigate the various risks and threats to a business and put a plan in place to protect the owner’s investment.

 

read more at nj.com

Cannabis Worker’s Compensation Insurance, Why It’s Needed

Cannabis business owners may debate the need for cannabis worker’s compensation insurance for cannabis employees, but in reality there should be no debate. Business owners should view cannabis workers compensation as a protection and not another expense. While in some states, smaller employers (generally those with 1-3 employees) may opt out of the mandatory coverage, many employers elect to opt into worker’s compensation coverage to protect their investments. Cannabis employers’ reasons for opting in include protection from being sued for causing injury, no fault coverage, and coverage for the actual business owner as well in case of injury while working.

The good news is cannabis employers and employees have an option to protect themselves if on the job accidents occur. The bad news is that there is ambiguity about medical marijuana and cannabis workers compensation coverage.  If a cannabis employee is injured on the job, it is logical to think that the employee may want to use medical marijuana to help manage pain while recovering from their injury. Due to the Schedule I status of marijuana on the federal level, and ambiguity among state laws regarding the issue, worker’s compensation payments may not cover the cost of medicinal use cannabis for injured employees. In a case out of Maine, an employee sued for reimbursements for money he spent out of pocket for medical marijuana. The court in Maine decided that employer’s do not have to pay for or reimburse employees for medical marijuana, and that doing so would be a crime under federal law.

But Twin Rivers Paper Co. and its insurer appealed the ruling, arguing that paying for pot use, even for medical purposes, could expose the companies to prosecution since marijuana still is illegal at the federal level… With medical marijuana legal in Washington, D.C. and 29 states, insurers across the country have been confronted with the same dilemma. Uneven state laws on reimbursement further complicate the issue… Twin Rivers attorney Anne-Marie Storey said paying for medical marijuana puts the company in violation of federal law. The company contends that Maine’s medical marijuana law does not explicitly require an insurer to cover the cost of medical marijuana.

While employers are not required to cover medical marijuana in some states, and the law is not clear in others, it is important to remember the benefits of cannabis worker’s compensation insurance. Without worker’s compensation for cannabis employees, employers can be exposed to a number of risks. In some states a business may receive a fine for each day worker’s compensation coverage is not maintained. Some states may prevent businesses from operating until the owner provides proof of coverage. Owners may be held personally liable for paying employees medical expenses and lost wages. Even if your cannabis business is small with a few employees, all it takes is one law suit for damages to derail the entire operation. Employers without proper coverage not only risk damaging financial losses for their business, but in some instances personal financial losses as well. Cannabis worker’s compensation for employees is only one of a number of tools employers can use to protect their business.  It is absolutely critical that business owners work with an insurance company and agent that can help them navigate the various risks and threats to a business and put a plan in place to protect the owner’s investment.

read more at thecannabist.co