Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
A big sign of the changing public perceptions of cannabis can be seen in the evolving positions of traditionally conservative industries like insurance and finance. As we inch closer and closer to legalization cannabis will only become increasingly accepted, and before more banks and insurance companies jump in, let’s take a look at some of the first to do it.
Sun Life Financial, Loblaws, and student unions offer medical cannabis insurance
Sun Life Financial, one of Canada’s biggest insurance companies, will cover up to $6000 in medical cannabis starting March 1, 2018.
This is a continuing trend, as the president of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana told CTV News, “A number of plan sponsors have moved to cover medical cannabis costs over the years, including the University of Waterloo’s student union, the Arthritis Society, [and] Loblaw Companies Ltd.”
Loblaw’s is one of Canada’s biggest grocers, with over 2000 stores across Canada, and 45,000 employees who are now eligible for medical cannabis coverage. It owns Shopper’s Drug Mart, CityMarket, No Frills, and Superstore, among many others, and it already applied to sell medical cannabis through Shopper’s Drug Mart back in October 2016, which is still awaiting approval from Health Canada. In December 2017, Loblaws signed a 5 year deal with Aphria Inc., a licensed producer, to supply them with cannabis in anticipation of being approved, although that is not set in stone yet.
There are two universities currently offering students coverage for medical cannabis. The University of Waterloo was the first to do it in December 2014, and UBC Okanagan will be the second when their one-year pilot project for medical cannabis coverage launches in mid-April.