The California insurance commissioner has approved the first filing by an admitted commercial insurance company to sell cannabis business insurance.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones in early November announced the approved filing from Golden Bear Insurance Co.
“This is the first of what I hope will be many commercial carriers filing insurance products to fill insurance coverage gaps for the cannabis industry,” Jones said in a statement. “Consumers who visit cannabis businesses, workers who work there, businesses who sell products to or rent property to cannabis businesses, and the investors, owners and operators of cannabis businesses all should have insurance coverage available to help them recover when something goes wrong just as any other legalized business does.”
Jones launched an initiative earlier this year to encourage admitted insurers to write insurance to fill coverage gaps for the cannabis industry. Jones has convened meetings between commercial insurance company executives and cannabis business owners to educate the industry about the cannabis industry. Jones has also organized tours for insurance executives at cannabis businesses.
Last month Jones held a public hearing to identify insurance gaps faced by the cannabis industry. Cannabis businesses and insurance industry representatives testified about the limited availability of insurance for cannabis businesses.
Many at the hearing said that while there is insurance available from surplus lines insurers, insurance coverage is limited in scope. Jones also announced that staff from the California Department of Insurance would be allocated to cannabis insurance filings.