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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Insurance in 2021

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With the legalization of adult-use cannabis in the state of New York, more and more dispensaries are expected to come to market. Marijuana dispensaries will pop up all over the Empire State, and one of the main question-mark areas these entrepreneurs will encounter is: what about marijuana business insurance?


When Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law at the end of March, we just didn’t know that much about adult-use cannabis laws and business practices. The truth is: we still don’t—they’re still relatively new concepts. Cannabis insurance is another area still under development, as much of it depends on the specific legal issues that vary from state to state. Marijuana is still a federally illegal substance, so you can see why things might get complicated. 

Medical marijuana, on the other hand, has been around for a little bit longer, and using medical marijuana dispensaries as a basis for your business insurance questions is not a bad start. At Weed Ross, we take pride in being resourceful and staying connected so that our clients can remain informed. So let’s go over what we know about medical marijuana dispensary insurance in 2021.

In this article, we will cover:

The Difference Between Adult-Use Marijuana and Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Medical marijuana dispensaries were conceptualized to offer a secure location to obtain cannabis and information about cannabis to patients with specific ailments. Marijuana is technically only considered “medical” if it is used for medical purposes, and issued to a state-qualified patient from a medical marijuana treatment center, or a medical marijuana dispensary. The qualifying medical conditions vary from state to state, but the lists often include ALS, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and PTSD. Medical marijuana dispensaries are licensed facilities that check for special state certifications and qualifications in order to dispense their cannabis products. When a consumer or patient meets these prerequisites, they are often issued a medical marijuana card to signify their qualification, almost like an ID or doctor’s recommendation.

Adult-use marijuana dispensaries, or recreational marijuana dispensaries, are cannabis businesses that require significantly fewer prerequisites for customers than medical marijuana dispensaries. As the name suggests, you must be 21 years or older to purchase cannabis from an adult-use marijuana dispensary, and you also must have a valid form of identification. While there is actually no difference in the marijuana itself, adult-use cannabis is often thought of to be less-regulated than medical cannabis. But as states continue to legalize recreational marijuana and develop systematic programs for structured regulation, the difference is becoming increasingly negligible.

What You Need to Know About Medical Marijuana Dispensary Insurance

Medical marijuana has been found to help in a variety of ways with many different diseases and ailments, and as the legal marijuana movement continues to gain momentum, the businesses that dispense cannabis face inevitable challenges from a legal standpoint. Accordingly, insurance for medical marijuana dispensaries is absolutely critical, as claims and lawsuits are almost sure to arise in many different facets. 

Medical marijuana dispensaries are akin to drug stores—customers or patients must provide their ID and eligibility documentation in order to purchase any product, much like a prescription. If a consumer purchases a defective product or a product with any sorts of false claims, the dispensary owner can and most likely will be held liable. Additionally, if an employee slips and falls, these incidents are handled just like any other business insurance claim. Dispensary owners must protect themselves with adequate marijuana dispensary insurance that takes these types of scenarios into account. 
Medical marijuana dispensary insurance offers comprehensive protection from many of the most likely threats and occurrences that coincide with operating a medical marijuana dispensary.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Coverages

With the legalization of adult-use marijuana comes a wider acceptance of the cannabis culture in general. Medical marijuana will most likely see a spike in demand as well, especially in states that fall behind in recreational legalization. Medical marijuana dispensaries must acquire exceptional and all-encompassing insurance to protect their business, as competition will be fierce. As an insurance agency, Weed Ross supports all of our businesses with a tailored insurance package to cover the unique circumstances found in the medical marijuana industry.

By working with numerous insurance carriers, Weed Ross can provide your medical marijuana dispensary with all of the coverages you might need, as we will partner with the best cannabis insurance carriers available. We are sympathetic to the risks associated with running a medical marijuana dispensary and will continue to educate ourselves and our clients as the cannabis space takes off. Currently, and as we know it, the most important coverages to highlight include general liability coverage, medicine coverage, product liability coverage, property coverage, and more. 

General liability coverage is essential for medical marijuana dispensaries because owners will usually need to provide proof of general liability insurance in order to open the business. You will also typically need general liability insurance to occupy a business location and receive a license to dispense medical marijuana. 

Medicine coverage provides your medical marijuana business with the product protection against fire and theft, as well as coverage while your product is in transit from the cultivation facility. 

Product liability coverage offers protection if products are defective, mislabeled, contaminated, or misrepresented. Sufficient product liability coverage can protect you in the event that someone sues your medical marijuana dispensary for these types of unfortunate scenarios. 

Property coverage can help protect your medical marijuana dispensary in the event of direct losses that result from stolen, damaged, or destroyed property. 

Weed Ross is a local insurance agency that strives to provide the absolute best coverage the insurance industry has to offer. We work with dozens of carriers, so you don’t have to call them and do the comparing and contrasting yourself. Our expertise includes home insurance, business insurance, brewery insurance, renters insurance, and cannabis business insurance. Essentially, we do it all. If you still have questions regarding insurance for your medical marijuana business, give us a call—we’re here to help.

Related Information:

Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Insurance
The Future of Cannabis and Marijuana Business In New York
6 Ways to Improve Workplace Safety

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