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Niche Insurance Firms Cover Cannabis Businesses

National insurance companies generally decline to underwrite policies to marijuana businesses because the drug is still illegal under federal law. In Oregon, lesser-known insurance brokers and carriers have stepped up to serve the cannabis sector, with coverage ranging from crop insurance to product liability...
July 18, 2017

National insurance companies generally decline to underwrite policies to marijuana businesses because the drug is still illegal under federal law. In Oregon, lesser-known insurance brokers and carriers have stepped up to serve the cannabis sector, with coverage ranging from crop insurance to product liability. In a June 29 bulletin, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services instructed insurance carriers doing business in the state to clear up ambiguities in their policies as they apply to marijuana.

Property and casualty policies “should explicitly state” whether cannabis-related activities are covered or excluded and whether the policy considers cannabis-related activities illegal. Department spokesman Jake Sunderland said, “We’re trying to be proactive. Our team that examines insurance contracts continues to encounter exclusions for general ‘illegal activity.’ We decided that we should clarify that those general exclusions could not cover cannabis any longer and that carriers need to be more explicit.”

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