“Hello. This is Some Random Insurance Company. How can I assist you?”
“Oh, Hi. My name is Jimmy and I’m going to open a new business. I’m going to need some insurance for both my business and my employees. So, I’d like to speak with an agent about what options are available.”
“Certainly… What type of business are you going to open?”
“A marijuana dispensary and a production facility.”
“Um… I’m sorry, but we don’t support your industry.”
“What do you mean? I have a state issued license to operate here. Plus you were already here. Why won’t you insure my business?”
“I’m sorry. But the industry you are planning to enter is still very high risk with all things considered… Plus you are still considered to be an illegal business entity. We just don’t support that type of industry.”
“Okay then… Can you tell me who does?”
“I’m sorry, but we don’t support your industry.”
This is how many of these conversations go when entering into the cannabis industry. This can be tough, for sure. Just like banks. But, this is the dream. This is the goal. This is the little brain child you’ve nurtured in the back of your mind for only god knows how long. You want to build it and make it grow but you have to protect it too. So, what can be done?
Some might try not telling the entire truth about their business, which could prove to be disastrous and/or a loss of coverage. But most just take any policy they can get simply because it was the ONLY policy they could get. Which is usually less desirable due to the business involving cannabis. Much like the problem you would find in banking. Then the policies tend to just sit on a shelf somewhere or in a box with the bill on auto pay. This is more common than one might think.
So… One can either take what they’ve been given or they can seek out someone who understands their business. That’s where Industria Risk & Insurance Services comes into play. I spoke with Tim Conlon (Managing Director & Partner and Cannabis Practice Leader) and Jana Wilson (Managing Director, Risk Services) of Industria and they explained what really sets them apart from the rest.
To start, this group has a presence in all 50 states. Within nine of those states they are already working with groups within the cannabis industry. Each state has different guidelines which the businesses that reside within this industry have to follow. So the needs of each business will differ from state to state. Considering Industria has a presence in all of the states, Industria will have the ability to cater to your business. In all honesty, your needs to run a California dispensary, at least in some ways, would be very different when compared to a dispensary in places like Colorado or Connecticut. And the same chaotic variables apply if you are in production, or have an entity of lateral integration.
As stated earlier, some may “slow” their story of the business in order to get any coverage possible from an insurance company. This isn’t good. One of the things said during conversation with Jana Wilson was “We want the customer to be honest with us, we want to give them the coverage that they need for their business as well as their employees. That honesty is the only way we can truly assess their business in order to give them the coverage they need for their company.” Then once Industria has a better understanding of the business model, they take a look at it from top to bottom and move into education. Because let’s face it, not everybody really knows what they’re getting into…
Tim Conlon explained to me “Once we have a full understanding of the business model, we explain to the customer what the risks are. All of them. This will give the client a full understanding of the undertaking. Once the specific risks are addressed the insurance needs of the cannabis operation can be identified.” Tim is right… I myself have even met dispensary owners that were not aware of what 280E was. These guys will tell you about that too. If you don’t know about it, you better call your accountant ASAP.
But what does Industria cover you ask? Anything and everything. Industria will cover your building, your grow, your employees, along with all points in between (literally from seed to 401k). Industria is a comprehensive insurance group for cannabis from the flower to the people. They work with you using forward thinking and understanding not only to show you what the risks are and what your insurance needs are, but to understand what you want to achieve as a business. Plus, as this industry changes the needs of the businesses within the industry will change as well. Industria will know how you need to change with it and keep you covered.