COLORADO: As political and cultural momentum builds for legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, it’s created a so-called “green rush” of people trying to cash in on the surge in cannabis-related businesses.
That surge is also creating new opportunities and challenges for a segment of insurance companies — firms that are now offering policies to marijuana growers, manufacturers and dispensaries in the states where cannabis is legal.
Of course, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But last August the Justice Department announced it would not challenge state marijuana laws, and just last month Attorney General Eric Holder said legal marijuana business should have access to the banking system, if only out of consideration for public safety.
Nonetheless, it’s hard for a cannabis business to get coverage from one of the big insurance companies.
Greenpoint Insurance Advisors, a Colorado-based company that provides business insurance not only to medical marijuana stores, dispensaries and growers, but also to ancillary companies, says in a statement on its website that “The standard insurance carriers such as State Farm, Farmers, Travelers, etc… don’t typically provide coverage for this unique industry.”