Insurance regulators issue long-awaited updated white paper on cannabis.
Back in April, Cannabis Wire reported that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners planned to adopt its updated white paper, titled Regulatory Guide to Understanding the Market for Cannabis Insurance, during its Summer National Meeting this month.
Last week, they did just that.
Key findings from the paper:
“Capacity has improved since the 2019 white paper. However, most of the commercial insurance for cannabis-related businesses is still found in the non-admitted market.
Smaller industry players are most impacted by the lack of admitted options since the nonadmitted market doesn’t offer the “off-the-shelf” insurance solutions typically available in the admitted market.
Insurance gaps are most prevalent in the emerging areas of the cannabis industry, such as ancillary services, cannabis-infused products, and social consumption lounges.
Among the potential structures being explored to facilitate cannabis-related business coverage are the use of state-based commercial insurance programs, risk retention groups (RRGs), captives, and joint underwriting associations (JUAs).”
New research explores medical cannabis laws and health insurance premiums.
Researchers from Bowling Green State University and Illinois State University and Katie School of Insurance and Risk Management conducted a study that aimed to examine whether cannabis legalization “significantly impacts aggregate health insurer premiums in the individual market,” researchers explained.
“Increases in utilization could have spillover effects to patients in the form of higher health insurance premiums,” researchers noted.
Researchers used private insurer financial data between the years 2010 and 2021 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to analyze shifts in individual market health insurance premiums after medical cannabis laws went live.
Results showed that, seven years after the implementation of medical cannabis laws, researchers observed lower health insurer premiums.
“The implementation of [medical cannabis laws] lowers individual-market health insurance premiums. Health insurance spending, including premiums, comprises between 16% and 34% of household budgets in the United States,” researchers concluded. “As healthcare costs continue to rise, our findings suggest that households that obtain their health insurance on the individual (i.e., not employer sponsored) market in states with [medical cannabis laws] appreciate significantly lower premiums.”
This research was published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.
Scooplet on craft cannabis in upstate New York.
Efforts to establish a sustainable craft cannabis industry in Ulster County are underway.
Cannabis Wire spotted that the Ulster County Department of Economic Development (DED) has issued an RFP to solicit proposals for Economic Development Services to support the growth of a sustainable craft cannabis sector in the county.
“Ulster County is interested in nurturing and promoting the development of a craft cannabis industry that focuses on sustainability and social/economic equity and contributes to agritourism,” the notice reads.
The selected firm(s) will be responsible for conducting group training workshops, one-on-one support, and providing assistance in navigating regulations and permits. There were no details on funding, as it’s “subject to the availability of funds and the outcomes of this project.”
+ Related-ish: When Jen Metzger, who is now the Ulster County Executive, previously served on the NY Cannabis Control Board, she was particularly outspoken on cannabis-related sustainability and best practices.