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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.

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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

Cannabis Insurance Defending Cannabis Businesses From Professional Liability

In traditional industries with professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and doctors, there is an expectation of specific knowledge and professionalism. Businesses and families rely on their accountants to help them file taxes and set up businesses to minimize their tax liability while staying compliant with the rules and regulations set by the IRS. Clients depend on their lawyers to know specific areas of law and rely on their advice to make legal decisions that may impact the rest of their lives. Patients place their lives in doctors hands with diagnosis and medications, anticipating positive results to their various ailments. The cannabis industry has various professionals that are also relied upon for their knowledge and expertise and like all responsibilities that come with being a professional, when a mistake is made the consequences can be drastic. Cannabis businesses owners such as marijuana growers must protect themselves with a form of cannabis insurance, specifically professional liability insurance.

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There are multiple forms of cannabis insurance that can help a cannabis businesses owner manage risks, but for the various professionals in the industry such as growers and consultants, professional liability cannabis insurance is a valuable tool to mitigate risk. In Colorado a couple has been granted the right to sue a marijuana company for it’s use of pesticides on it’s marijuana plants. The company is now facing a possible class action law suit and unspecified damages that could potentially cost large amounts of money that few businesses can afford to lose. If the company in question is properly insured, they should be able to minimize their exposure in this instance, but it should be noted that there are policy limits to all policies, and not all occurrences or liabilities may be covered.

The lawsuit against LivWell Inc. by Brandan Flores and Brandie Larrabee seeks class-action status and alleges the company for years inappropriately used Eagle 20, a heavy-hitting pesticide with myclobutanil that kills a variety of pests endangering the plants.

“In a larger sense they’re saying the marijuana industry can’t go on unchecked and someone has to do something to stop these people from using Eagle 20 and other harmful pesticides,” said Steven Woodrow, their attorney.

The two claim damages for an unspecified amount of money they overspent to buy the marijuana they say should have sold for a lesser price because of the pesticide.

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LiveWell Inc. and the situation in Colorado is the exact reason cannabis business owners cannot ignore cannabis insurance. The cannabis industry is in it’s infancy and will face many challenges in the near future. S2S Insurance Specialists can help cannabis business owners evaluate potential risks and put together a plan that protects the business from all angles. Cannabis insurance is new in the sense that the end product is new to the world of insurance, but the business models, the guiding principles of risk management and underwriting are not new. S2S Insurance has experienced insurance professionals that can help business owners protect their investments and livelihoods. It is also important to remember that regardless of what type of cannabis insurance policy you have, coverage limits will apply.  You must read your policy with both your agent and your attorney to determine what your coverage consists of.

read more at denverpost.com