What should MMJ entrepreneurs expect from their insurance agent? Besides providing the correct coverages for one’s business, a dedicated insurance professional can deliver other services that support your goal of obtaining an ADHS dispensary license.
For example: to help prospective dispensary owners finalize their applications, agents can provide them with quotes for all pieces of the business: General Liability, Professional Liability, Property (to include Crop Coverage), Business Auto, Directors & Officers coverage for your Board, Med Mal and Workers Compensation for your staff. Doing so will make your application that much more appealing to ADHS.
Another advantage of working with your agent, especially right now, is that fine-tuning your building layout and operational plans will help you to realize all available premium discounts for meeting the safety and security criteria insurance carriers have.
Your agent can also help you win a Special or Conditional Use Permit by writing a letter in support of your zoning request to the city or county you want to locate in; a personal appearance on your behalf is even better.
My experience has been that those in advisory or decision-making positions find it compelling when a risk-management professional testifies that MMJ businesses pose no more threat to the community than pharmacies, jewelry stores or even the local Circle K.
One issue often overlooked is the effect an MMJ business will have on the landlord; many of their current “Lessor’s Risk” policies will be canceled by mainstream (“preferred” or “admitted”) carriers when a medical marijuana use begins operations in their building. Your agent should be on top of this so that you don’t end up paying for a big premium increase to your landlord’s policy.
Correctly insuring your dispensary, grow, delivery service or testing lab demands knowledge of the MMJ industry, because Medical Marijuana surely ain’t tiddly-winks. Find an agent that knows the business, has their ear to the ground and offers value-added service to get the most from your partnership.
Doug Banfelder is a Commercial Insurance Specialist. He can be reached at www.PremierDispensaryInsurance.com or by calling 480-315-9051