Wildfires are continuing to lay waste to Northern California. Beyond the loss of life and land, some of those that have survived are waiting to sift through the ashes of their cannabis businesses knowing they don’t have cannabis insurance to recoup their losses.
Some cannabis business owners may have had insurance on personal properties, but personal coverage isn’t commercial coverage and commercial coverage is hard to come by in the state-legal cannabis industry.
“Nobody right now has insurance,” said Nikki Lastreto, secretary of the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association, to CNN. “They might have insurance on their house, but not on their crop.”
“As Insurance Commissioner, my goal is to make sure all Californians, including emerging cannabis businesses, have insurance protection,” said Dave Jones, Insurance Commissioner for the California Department of Insurance, back in May.
Sticking to his word, the CDI released a list this week that includes the contact information of 28 agents and brokers willing to provide cannabis insurance to cannabis businesses.
This list may be a godsend for those cannabis businesses that haven’t been affected by the Northern California wildfires and are still seeking coverage, but it may be too little too late for those that have already lost their cannabis farms to fire; plus, even if cannabis farms had some type of commercial coverage, updated information from the CDI explains that outdoor crop insurance isn’t currently available, so this list may not do outdoor cultivators any good in regards to their actual crops.
According to the Los Angeles Times, at least seven cannabis farms have been destroyed by the current wildfires, with more expected to be lost as the blaze continues.
While the CDI has taken an important step by providing an initial cannabis insurance list for cannabis businesses, it knows that more progress needs to be made and is holding a public hearing on cannabis insurance issues on Oct. 19, 2017, from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles.