Cannabis Dispensary Owners - What You Sell Could Come Back to Bite You
Cannabis Insurance is a new type of insurance that covers everything from dispensaries, to grow houses, to cannabusinesses. Cannabis.Net was out in Las Vegas at MJ Biz Con and got to talk to CBZ Insurance, a marijuana insurance company that is one of the leaders in the industry. The first quesiton you might ask is, what on earth is cannabis insurance and why would anyone want it? Lets take a quick step back.
As the legal cannabis industry continues gaining momentum as one of the fastest growing markets in the US, cannabis businesses are now facing certain challenges that comes with their new place in the world. Claims and lawsuits against cannabis businesses are cropping up more and more for issues ranging from inadequate warning labels, presence of pesticide residues in products, to unsafe handling practices during the manufacturing process. Unlike 20 years ago, if someone gets sick from ingesting a defective cannabis product, he or she now has legal recourse.
It may be a surprise that it’s not just the growers and manufacturers who are held liable for defective products – retailers are also at risk. If a consumer purchases a defective product from a retailer and becomes ill, that dispensary owner can be held liable, even if there was no prior knowledge of defects in the product. The rationale behind imposing liability on dispensary owners is that it will pressure them to vet manufacturers they do business with more carefully and only work with businesses that have a proven track record of making high quality, safe products. While states tend to favor those who had no part in the manufacturing of a defective product, there is still risk of liability.
According to Nick DiNicola, Principal at CBZ Insurance Service, there are a few things dispensary owners can do to protect themselves.
“Because dispensaries are dealing directly with the consumer, it is hugely important to understand who their suppliers are and how they do business,” said DiNicola. “Also, dispensary staff need to communicate clearly with consumers about dosages and the risks associated with the products. Most importantly, these businesses need to protect themselves with insurance specific to their operations.”
The takeaway here is that cannabis dispensary owners, should not assume they cannot be held liable for defects in the cannabis products on their shelves. The bottom line is that the best defense is a good insurance policy.
Cannabis insurance, though relatively new, is gaining momentum on the West Coast as questions about edibles and children keep some businesses up worrying at night. Do you have a cannabis insurance question or have a business that you might want to protect a bit more? You can check out CBZ Insurance here and ask a question.
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