Cannabis businesses can now get insured. Here’s what it means.

For the first half of 2018, it was nearly impossible for California’s licensed cannabis companies to manage risk. That’s about to change.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has approved a new program that will allow cannabis enterprises to obtain property and liability coverage through nonprofit insurance advisory group American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS).

This could be a game changer for the state’s marijuana industry.

“Cannabis businesses need insurance coverage to help them recover when something goes wrong - just as any other legalized business does,” Jones said in a statement. “This first-of-its-kind Cannabis Business Owners Policy, or CannaBOP program, will make it easier for more insurers to enter the market and fill coverage gaps for cannabis businesses.”

There are still limitations. Ken King, vice president of the state’s first approved commercial insurance carrier for the marijuana industry, says his company does not offer auto or worker compensation coverage. It does, however, provide property insurance, general liability coverage, coverage for burglaries and more.

Commissioner Jones has been working all year to extend insurance coverage to California’s budding marijuana industry. His office recently approved California Mutual Insurance of Hollister to write Lessor’s Risk coverage for property owners who lease to tenants in the cannabis industry.

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