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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

California Cannabis Business Owners Remain at Risk As State Congress Rejects Banking Measure

Cannabis business owners are in the marijuana business to make money, which has become a major problem. Cannabis business owners are dealing with a reality in which they are having marketing and retail success that is generating large revenue numbers. The large revenue being generated is coming in the form of cash and cash only, unless the company is an ancillary business and even then there are challenges. Due to the federal government refusing to remove marijuana from a schedule I classification, banking institutions and cannabis business owners are having a tough time finding common ground. While it is true that a number of states have legalized marijuana either for medical use, recreational use or both, many financial insinuations  are refusing to work with marijuana related businesses due to fear of facing federal charges for money laundering while the plant is still considered illegal federally.

S2s Insurance, Eric Rahn, cannabis insurance specialists, Schedule 1, marijuana business, cannabis ancillary business, weed insuranceCalifornia has attempted to shield it’s financial institutions from federal punishment by introducing a measure that would allow the banks to open accounts for marijuana businesses without being punished by federal regulators. The measure was voted on and rejected by the state’s congressional committee. For the banks and cannabis business owners, their hands remained tied. Banks cannot risk federal prosecution for money laundering or even possibly a RICO (Racketeer, Influence, and Corrupt Organizations Act) charge for helping a cannabis related business deposit money into a bank. The federal government could come in at anytime to freeze and or seize the bank’s assets due to the illegality of marijuana which most banks are not willing to risk.

The broader measure would have prevented the U.S. Department of Treasury from taking any action to “penalize a financial institution solely because the institution provides financial services to an entity that is a manufacturer, producer, or a person that participates in any business or organized activity that involves handling marijuana or marijuana products” in accordance with state or local law.

After a lengthy and impassioned debate during which at least 19 lawmakers spoke, it was defeated on a voice vote by the House Appropriations Committee.

Despite the fact that a growing number of states are legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use, many financial institutions have remained reluctant to work with cannabis businesses for fear of running afoul of money laundering laws under ongoing federal prohibition.

s2s inaurance, eric rahn, weed banking, cannabis related business, cannabis insurance specialists, marijuana insuranceThe risk for the banking institutions is clear, frozen assets or seized assets both equal lost money. There is no insurance policy that can protect a bank if they are charged with federal crimes. The banks are protecting themselves by not working with cannabis business owners or cannabis related businesses. So how do cannabis related businesses protect themselves and from what exactly? While piles of cash seems like a good thing, the reality is that this creates a major liability and risk factor for business owners. As the money grows, storage becomes a problem. Where do you put large stacks of highly valuable and flammable currency? How do you transport it? And, how do you protect your business from would be thieves who know you have large amounts of cash on hand?

There are steps you can take logistically, such as large safes, special storage facilities, armored vehicle transport, and accounting teams designated for counting cash and keeping track of where the money physically is located. All this is very costly, but even with all this your business could easily become a target for a robbery. Your business could be targeted during business hours, after hours, or while the cash is in transport. As a cannabis business owner you should protect yourself, your team, and your business by working with the cannabis insurance specialists at S2S Insurance to properly assess your risk and develop a risk management profile. From Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance, “your cannabis business can’t afford to not have cannabis insurance.”

read more at forbes.com

Understanding the Regulatory Risks Associated with Owning a Cannabis Business

As a cannabis business owner, looking over your shoulder may have become an habit. It is the same habit of anyone that participates in the illicit market, however you entered into the cannabis industry because your state has legalized cannabis. The truth is though, that regardless of whether your state has legalized a medical marijuana program or even possibly an adult-use market, cannabis is still illegal. You are not looking over your shoulder to see if local authorities are coming but instead if agencies like the DEA, FBI or in the instance of a brewery in San Francisco, whether the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has shown up.

Black Hammer Brewing, cannabis insurance, who insures the cannabis industry, insurance for cannabisBlack Hammer Brewing out of San Francisco came up with the very smart idea of brewing a beer with cannabidiol or CBD, a cannabinoid found in both the marijuana flower and in hemp. Black Hammer was using hemp derived CBD. It is a non-psychoactive biological compound that is believed to be the main medicinal compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It works as an anti-inflammatory as well as having some other medicinal properties. CBD products are offered around the country in many wholesale stores like Lucky Brands. Adult-use cannabis is even legal in California, but that did not stop the federal agency from stepping in and forcing Black Hammer Brewing to stop all production of their CBD beer and offering it for sale to their customers.

Forcing the brewery to stop production of the CBD beer did not even have to do with the Schedule 1 status of cannabis, which is what makes cannabis as illegal of a controlled substance as there is here in the United States. It instead had to do with the fact that Black Hammer had not applied to add either CBD or some of the terpenes they were using in their beer for approval with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Since the prohibition of cannabis has been in place here in the U.S. for over 80 years, cannabis and the substances that can be extracted from it are simply not accounted for by regulatory bodies. The owner of Black Hammer Brewing, Jim Furman, believes though that the future of one of his top selling beers depends very much on the federal legalization of hemp.

“We believe that future approval of our formula may be dependent on hemp reclassification by the federal government/DEA,” he wrote in an email. “Our guests love the CBD beers, and we’re pretty sad that we have to stop producing them,” he says. Of the eight CBD beers he has created, Furman considers Hippie Hill, an imperial IPA, to be his greatest success. Brewed with Tahoe OG terpenes, “it’s unmistakable. So fresh,” he says. “It’s got the most dialed-in cannabis flavor profile.”

There is no cannabis insurance that covers the sort of general liability associated with the illegal status of cannabis or the regulatory limitations caused by the extended prohibition of cannabis. However we are interested in spreading awareness on all of the risks associated with owning a cannabis business or incorporating a cannabis product into your inventory. In the cannabis industry, you must account for certain risks that are not common in traditional sectors.

read more at sfchronicle.com

Understanding Insurance for Cannabis Businesses with S2S Insurance Specialists

Source: The National Marijuana News

Eric Rahn of S2S Explains How Cannabis Companies Can Mitigate Their Risk Despite Schedule 1 Status

TNMNews had the opportunity to meet with and interview Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance Specialists at the Phoenix Park Hotel for the NCIA Lobby Days event in Washington D.C.. Mr. Rahn is a member of the NCIA and joined the cannabis industry three years ago identifying a great need for risk mitigation within the sector. We were fortunate that we were able to interview Mr. Rahn first during the event as his obvious experience and knowledge set an excellent tone for the event and let us know what to expect from the professionals we would be speaking with.

What is only growing faster than the Cannabis Industry? If you said risk, you are spot on. Eric Rahn started his career in the casino gaming industry becoming very familiar with working within a regulated industries. Seeing the rapid growth of the cannabis sector he decided that their was a void of qualified international insurance brokers in this emerging sector. After identifying that many cannabis companies, both Public and Private associated within the cannabis industry were facing unmitigated in securing the proper insurance risk due to the Schedule 1 status of cannabis. He not only felt he had the knowledge and experience to help, but also that the movement needed all the help it could get to push the legalization movement forward. He then made the transition into the cannabis industry by establishing S2S Insurance Specialists and joining the NCIA.

As you listen to the interview, you will hear that he has adopted the seed-to-sale concept of tracking cannabis businesses from the planting of the seed to the ultimate sale of the product. By examining the industry in this manner he was able to identify the unique risks associated with each business. Hence the name of his company, S2S Insurance Specialists. He has identified the four major areas of risk the cannabis industry faces as banking, the IRS tax code 280E, interstate transportation and of course a lack of liability insurance. His number one suggestion is that a cannabis company makes sure it is speaking with a certified insurance broker that is familiar with the cannabis industry and its unique risks, as many brokers are not yet educated on this particular subject matter.

Mr. Rahn suggest any company raising money, bringing in outside investors or trading on a stock exchange acquire Directors and Officers Liability. Also any company selling cannabis products should consider Product Liability Insurance. There may be a lot of confusion surrounding how cannabis business owners can mitigate their risks due to the Schedule 1 status of cannabis, however solutions are out there. Cannabis entrepreneurs simply need to make well informed decisions.

We want to thank Eric Rahn for taking the time with us to address questions and provide this much needed information concerning the liability of owning a business in the cannabis sector. If you would care to reach out to Mr. Rahn and S2S Insurance Specialists, please go to S2SInsure.com or you can reach them at their various offices listed below.

Boca Raton (954) 790-6604
Coconut Grove (305)-442-1500
Denver (720)-726-6147