420MEDIA Trailblazers In Cannabis: Norman Ives, Broker & Cannabis Specialist Worldwide Facilities

Trailblazers In Cannabis

Digital marketing agency 420MEDIA and the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have joined forces to create a series highlighting entrepreneurs trailblazing the cannabis scene. Each week, we profile a noteworthy business pioneer, and ask each 5 questions. This week we talk to trailblazer Norman Ives, Insurance Broker and Cannabis Specialist at Worldwide Facilities. 

Tell us about your company: 

Established in 1970, Worldwide Facilities is a national wholesale insurance broker, managing general agent and program underwriter. For nearly 50 years our team of insurance specialists have provided innovative solutions to the specialty US and international insurance markets. More recently through a combination of organic growth, recruitment and acquisitions Worldwide Facilities has aggressively expanded presence, standing and financial strength more than tripling its size to more than $1.5 billion in premium and is among the four largest wholesale brokers in the US.

Norm at MJBA Booth

Why did you choose the cannabis/hemp business?

Did I choose the cannabis industry, or did it choose me? It was not long after Initiative 502 passed in Washington legalizing the production and sales of adult-use/recreational marijuana that I started receiving inquiries from business owners and investors trying to understand what kind of insurance policy options were available for a marijuana license holder and other marijuana related endeavors. Not long after some of the first policies issued to license holders I began speaking business networking groups like the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and Washington Marijuana Association (WAMA) to help educate the community and committed myself to volunteering in the community like the non-profit Cannabis Coalition for Standards and Ethics (CCSE) and later The Cannabis Alliance. I am honored to be able to contribute my time and energy in support of the cannabis movement and the many amazing, caring, compassionate individuals who have been doing this meaningful work at great risk and often their own expense to deliver meaningful healthcare services to some of our communities most vulnerable members.

norm at dope mag party

What change will your firm address in the industry? 

Progress & solutions!  With more than 20 years of experience in the nutraceutical space, Worldwide’s NutraRisk practice group is already the recognized leader delivering insuring products for dietary supplements, CBD, vitamins, health, nutrition and naturalist products. The expansion into regulated cannabis is a natural progression of our continued commitment to its core institutional strengths. Over the course of the last year, they have done more than any other insurance organization to improve the market following the launch of two new insurance carriers (both highly regarded A+ XV carriers) including their best in class, exclusive cannabis offering that was announced in September of 2018.

MJBizCon on the bus

What has been the reaction to your product?

Over the past four years I have placed more than 1,000 policies generating $4.5 million in insurance premium delivering insurance protection to more than $400 million dollars in legal/regulated cannabis sales.

What have been some key milestones for you? 

This past year, I have been honored to serve as an elected board member of The Cannabis Alliance, Washington State’s largest and most influential non-profit advocating for the advancement of a vital, ethical and sustainable cannabis industry.

I am proud to serve my fellow insurance professionals as a panelist for Business Insurance Master Class “Cannabis Cover” held in Denver & Los Angeles in March 2019.

This spring I have been invited to speak by the Defense Research Institute, Washington DC, to the international organization of attorneys defending the interests of business and individuals in civil litigation for their May 2019 installment of “Marijuana Law”.

Where can readers learn more?

Nives@wwfi.com

LinkedIn:              https://www.linkedin.com/in/normanives/

Instagram:           @Cannabiznorm

Twitter                 @CannaBizNorm

 

 

Worldwide Facilities Hires Norman Ives As Broker & Cannabis Specialist In Its NutraRisk Division

CALIFORNIA: Worldwide Facilities has expanded the resources and institutional knowledge of its NutraRisk division, which specializes in Cannabis, Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements insurance coverage, with the addition of Norman Ives to its brokerage team.

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As a founding member of the national Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) and a Board Member of Washington’s Cannabis Alliance, Ives is a pioneer and subject matter expert in the nascent cannabis sector. Ives is often quoted in industry press, and, as such, he is a frequent panelist and speaker about the cannabis industry and its emerging insurance exposures and needs. Cannabis is one of the fastest growing sectors of the specialty insurance marketplace. Ives’ significant expertise positions him to offer innovative insurance solutions.

“Cannabis clients face unique business challenges because of the legal and regulatory landscape,” says Ives. “I offer a unique perspective on those challenges, and I look forward to partnering with our agents who serve cannabis clients to help protect those clients’ businesses and enable them to thrive.”

“Norm is a valuable addition to our team, particularly to agents who work in the cannabis industry,” says Morgan Moore, Life Science Practice Leader at NutraRisk. “His expertise with the various cannabis insurance programs, combined with his in-depth expertise in cannabis regulatory requirements, make him ideally suited to this role. Norm will be a huge asset to our clients.

 

NutraRisk Expands Cannabis Program For Recreational And Medicinal Operations

CALIFORNIA: NutraRisk, a division of Worldwide Facilities, announces that it is expanding its offering to include an exclusive cannabis program, providing General and Product Liability for medicinal and recreational operations.

NutraRisk can also place risks, in the eight states where recreational cannabis is legal, in another new and expanded Recreational Cannabis Program. In addition to these new General Liability Products, they can now provide a Crime option for the cannabis industry as well.

These programs represent some of the most tailored insurance coverage available for cannabis, CBD and hemp manufacture and sale.

“These insurance products are not yet mainstream, and the regulatory landscape is challenging. The cannabis industry at large faces significant challenges in finding comprehensive coverage,” says Morgan Moore, Life Science Practice Leader at NutraRisk.  “Many carriers hesitate to write these exposures and those that do often have very restrictive exclusions.”

NutraRisk has partnered with a few carriers that have decided that now is the time to enter into this sector and provide coverage for the various types of exposures. Coverage options include General and Product Liability up to $2 million, as well as Excess Liability up to $5 million. The approved classifications include (but are not limited to): cultivation – indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor operations, dispensaries / retail shops, growers, laboratories, transporters, recreational and medicinal marijuana.

“There are huge opportunities for retail insurance agents to increase their presence in this untapped and growing market,” Moore adds. “NutraRisk continues to partner with the innovative insurance carriers who are willing to explore cannabis coverages. Our Cannabis team consists of Casualty, Property and Financial Service Brokers who specialize in this space and have proprietary coverages available that are inclusive of the risks involved.”

“The cannabis industry represents the most tangible Crime risk in the history of insurance,” says Brian Savitch, Financial Services Specialist at NutraRisk. “With no banking solution in sight, this will remain a cash business. Unfortunately, most businesses have no idea that their cash on hand is insurable or that this type of insurance even exists.” Savitch adds, “Fortunately, we’ve partnered with a carrier, that is committed to cannabis, to offer a proprietary Crime product that will help bring peace of mind to cannabis business owners.”

Brian Savitch has an extensive background in D&O, E&O and Cyber. Over the past two years he has focused that expertise on the cannabis industry. Expect these ancillary lines to come to the forefront as sophisticated investors push insureds to properly round out their corporate insurance portfolios.