If The Federal Government Legalizes Cannabis, Here Are The Insurance Implications

In his 2015 stand-up special The Comeback Kid, stand-up comedian John Mulaney joked that the government had ‘[become] like cool parents’ when it came to marijuana.

It’s a claim many an onlooker would agree with. Nearly every year since 2012, when Washington and Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use through ballot measures, more and more states have passed laws allowing for medical and/or recreational usage.

Last year, five states passed laws legalizing either recreational cannabis, medical marijuana or both through ballot initiatives, causing some to dub the 2020 election a ‘Green Wave,’ and New York’s recent law legalizing recreational marijuana caused Vox to declare weed ‘has won.’

Even as states legalize the drug in droves, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

This quasi-legal status makes it difficult for recreational cannabis companies to obtain everything from bank loans to the insurance needed to run their businesses due to differing federal and state regulations.

Rather than continue to fear-monger about the dangers of marijuana, Congress has stepped into the role of ‘cool mom and dad’ by introducing two bills, the SAFE Banking and CLAIM acts, aimed at removing some of the federal hurdles for cannabis businesses by offering banks and insurers protection for working with the recreational sector.

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