Which is why building a team of trusted advisors essential in this budding cannabis sector. From legal to accounting to insurance, security, growing, and so much more, could make working with experience cannabis focused professionals a key to your success. My expertise as a cannabis insurance specialist is primarily as an educator for the risks and exposures that can and cannot be mitigated against with farm, hemp or cannabis specific insurance policies. After speaking with many New York State Conditional Cultivator Licensees, sharing a few of the paths they are taking, concerns and misconceptions essential.
Let’s begin with a general principal about the relationship between farm, hemp and cannabis insurance policies. Farm policies typically exclude all hemp or cannabis operations, and hemp insurance policies exclude any cannabis operations. Period!
Without cannabis specific insurance policies, you could be held personally responsible for injuries to visitors, vendors or anyone coming to your property or operations. A fire destroying your harvested cannabis crop while drying or in storage at your or another’s property would not be covered by a farm or hemp policy. If your harvest was in the care of custody of another, have you taken all the steps to discover if they had appropriate cannabis coverage? Have you asked for and received a Certificate of Insurance from their insurance carrier, naming your operations as an additional insured? Are the limits of their policies adequate for your and others crops at their facility? You don’t know what you don’t know.
We live in a very litigious world and can expect certain individuals will hire personal injury attorneys to file suits against dispensaries who sold products that began with your grow and had an adverse reaction, or possibly not. The suit would initially begin against the dispensary, but everyone in the supply chain from cultivator to dispensary and everyone in between will most probably be included. Each may be held personally and financially responsible to pay for injury or damages to that end user. Without cannabis specific insurance policies, you will all face these potential exposures and expenses as well as each having to personally hire an attorney to defend themselves against the claim. Defense is included with all policies, but they only cover what they are designed to cover.
Finals thoughts – discuss your operations with an experienced cannabis insurance specialist to develop a risk transfer program for your specific operations. All depending on your operations, it requires the completion of an application or two. With the application(s), and only speaking about my firm HUB International, without cost, we will provide you with a proposal on what we feel are the appropriate policies to protect you and your operations and what it will cost. Then you can make an informed decision, instead of being one of those who simply do not know what they don’t know.
Wayne Margulies, Cannabis Insurance Specialist, HUB International
646-515-2303 | email@example.com