First commercial insurer to file cannabis business insurance is approved by insurance commissioner

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Nov. 2, 2017- Cannabis businesses licensed by the State of California may now purchase commercial insurance coverage from an admitted commercial insurance company. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has approved the filing of the first admitted commercial insurance company to file cannabis business insurance, so that the insurer can begin writing policies and offering coverage for cannabis business owners.

“This is the first of what I hope will be many commercial carriers filing insurance products to fill insurance coverage gaps for the cannabis industry,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Consumers who visit cannabis businesses, workers who work there, businesses who sell products to or rent property to cannabis businesses, and the investors, owners and operators of cannabis businesses all should have insurance coverage available to help them recover when something goes wrong just as any other legalized business does.”

Jones launched an initiative earlier this year to encourage commercial insurance companies to write insurance to fill coverage gaps for the cannabis industry. This first filing and approval of commercial insurance for the cannabis industry is a successful result of Commissioner Jones’ initiative. Jones has convened meetings between commercial insurance company executives and cannabis business owners to educate the insurance industry about the sophistication, professionalism and risk management of the cannabis industry. Jones has also organized tours for insurance executives at cannabis businesses.

Last month Jones held a first in the nation public hearing to identify insurance gaps faced by the cannabis industry. Cannabis businesses and insurance industry representatives testified about the limited availability of insurance for cannabis businesses. The hearing revealed that while there is insurance available from surplus lines insurers, insurance coverage is limited in scope and, until the approval being announced today, commercial carriers were not yet writing insurance. Jones also announced that department staff would be allocated to cannabis insurance filings.

“Our mission remains insurance protection for all Californians, which includes insurance for California’s legalized cannabis businesses and customers. We encourage more insurance companies to file cannabis business insurance products with the department to meet the needs of this emerging market,” Jones added.

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