Article by Cynthia Sweeney, North Bay Business Journal
Business owners in the cannabis industry need insurance for the same reasons other business owners do: protection from lawsuits, compensation for losses, cyber attacks, worker’s comp, product liability, etc..
Although mainstream carriers, like State Farm Insurance, Wells Fargo Insurance Services and George Petersen Insurance Agency have yet to touch that market, there is a fairly long list of national and local agencies that are providing coverage to cannabis business owners. Some offer it alongside auto and home insurance, while others are niche carriers.
John Ford, of John Ford Insurance Agency in Eureka, has been in the insurance business about five years. He reached out to the cannabis industry two years ago when he “saw a need.”
While Ford also offers auto and home insurance, 80 percent of his clients, or about 130, are cannabis business owners. He insures all aspects of the industry from dispensaries, to distribution operations, and indoor and outdoor farms. In two years, his business has grown 62 percent, and policy applications are backlogged, taking twice to three times as long to process as they used to.
“Mainstream carriers are looking in from the outside, but salivating as well,” Ford said.
The cannabis industry is a different animal for the insurance industry as it comes with different risks. Your average restaurant or body shop probably doesn’t have to think about having search and seizure insurance, for example.