Things are moving forward in a potentially big way for workers in California’s legal weed industry. In particular, it looks like weed workers will soon have their own workers’ compensation insurance program. This development could go a long way toward normalizing the new industry. More importantly, it gives workers in the cannabis space a new level of security and protection.
New Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Cannabis Industry
Yesterday, California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones made a big announcement. He introduced plans to roll out a new workers’ compensation program specifically for the cannabis industry.
The new program will be carried out by Atlas General Insurance Services. In fact, the company is also responsible for planning and creating much of the new program. Moving forward, Atlas will now oversee all distribution and underwriting necessary to make the program operational.
So far, the company said it will roll out the workers’ compensation insurance through its more than 1,700 Atlas insurance agents working throughout California.
According to insurance experts, the new workers’ compensation insurance will cover the full spectrum of workers involved in the cannabis industry.
This includes workers in the following areas:
- cannabis cultivation
- extraction and concentrate production
- manufacturing of edibles and other cannabis products
- weed testing labs
- medical marijuana growers and manufacturers
- packaging and labeling
- warehousing, distribution, and transportation
- retail dispensaries
“This new program from Atlas is a crucial step i the right direction for this evolving business,” Commissioner Jones told sources. “I encourage more insurance companies to offer cannabis business insurance products with the department to meet the needs of this emerging market.”
The Ongoing Evolution of Legal Cannabis
The launch of workers’ compensation insurance for the legal cannabis industry represents another big step forward. It is also the next logical step in the ongoing development of insurance protections for the industry.
In June of this year, Commissioner Jones initiated a big change. That month, he made it possible for marijuana companies to purchase liability insurance. This essentially opened the door to offering a new level of protection to California’s entire cannabis supply chain.
This was seen as an especially big deal, given the level of scrutiny at every stage of the cannabis industry. Similarly, the process of providing inventory to the legal market involves multiple different players, each of which faces potentially costly liabilities and risks.
This includes everyone from growers and producers to distributors, security, and retail dispensaries. The change introduced earlier this summer introduced a new level of protection for the entire continuum of marijuana players.
And now, California’s newest change will offer even more protections, this time specifically for the workers involved in the industry.
The growing trend of insuring the cannabis industry also extends beyond California. Most notably, Hub International Limited, a global insurance company headquartered in Chicago, recently announced a new line of insurance products for the cannabis industry.
Earlier this month, the company announced that it would begin selling these products through its Agribusiness & Farm Specialty Practice. Hub International said that it plans to offer insurance coverage for pretty much every aspect of the cannabis industry.