Insurance Carriers Evaluate if We’re In or Out with Marijuana

The insurance industry as always been and will continue to be the oxygen to ignite any industry

 

On any given day it would appear if the cannabis insurance industry is having an identity crisis trying to determine if they should or should not insure the marijuana industry.  Recent announcements from the “in crowd” include California based Gold Bear Insurance Company and Topa Insurance.  The “out crowd” includes Evanston Insurance Company and Risk Placement Services.  If we’re keeping score its tied evenly.  Of course, this doesn’t take into consideration other insurance carriers outside our sphere and when Lloyds of London was perhaps the original domino to say no to marijuana.

The most recent cause for this neurosis seems linked to the reversal by the Department of Justice to retract the Cole Memorandum, while insurance executives witness the creation of the world’s largest cannabis market in California.  A interesting dilemma as two worlds collide between profit versus legality and reputation.

As one of our Surplus Lines Broker said about the fluctuating insurance market has necessitated a daily dose of stomach medication to calm their nerves.

Various US Attorneys in states like Colorado and Washington have issued their responses when their boss issued the new directive. Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman went further in her Washington Post opinion piece stating “It is too late to dismantle the marijuana industry.” Coffman went further by recognizing the will of the voters and putting aside her lack of support to legalize recreational marijuana.

These reactions may provide the insurance industry with some level of “security” needed to continue to pioneer through these trails. The cannabis industry must have stable and reliable insurance partners to protect their companies, other parties, and as a matter of public policy. The insurance industry as always been and will continue to be the oxygen necessary to ignite any industry.

 

Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Justice Department Issues Memo on Marijuana Enforcement

 

The Department of Justice today issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents. Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.

 

In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.

 

“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Federal Marijuana Enforcement Memorandum

ag_marijuana_enforcement_1.4.18_0(4)

The Cole Memorandum

DOJ James Cole Memo