Workers’ compensation program for the cannabis industry introduced in California

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The new program was announced by Insurance Commission Dave Jones

Cannabis industry participants in California now have additional state protection. A workers’ compensation plan that was created by Atlas General Insurance Services has been approved, according to an announcement by the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones.

The program provides coverage for workers’ compensation for employees in any aspect of the cannabis industry – dispensary workers, growers, researchers, those in manufacturing and packaging roles, transporters, etc. Explains Jones, “Cannabis business should have insurance coverage available to them just like any other California business. As Insurance Commissioner, my mission is insurance protection for all Californians, which includes insurance for California’s legalized cannabis businesses and its workers.”

Jones has been steadily working on expanding protection for the cannabis industry. He is responsible for launching the first surety bond program in California, as well as the first insurance coverage for commercial landlords who offer space to those in the industry.

Atlas General’s CEO, Bill Trzos, said, “Atlas has been studying the cannabis industry well before it became legalized in California. Through our research, we recognized the opportunity to be proactive in entering the cannabis market and are excited to be one of a few work comp platforms in the state.”

Jones is a true believer in the legalization of cannabis and marijuana products. Because of his dedication, he was recently appointed as the chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)’s Cannabis Insurance Working Group.

At the time, Jones asserted, “Cannabis businesses face insurance availability and insurance coverage gaps, which means that those who shop, those who work in, those who sell goods or services to, or those who own, invest in or operate cannabis businesses may not have access to insurance to help them recover if there are accidents, injuries, property damage or any of the things insurance typically covers.”

As state insurance regulators, one of our responsibilities is to understand new legal businesses and their insurance needs and then work to encourage the availability of insurance to meet these new risks and coverage needs. I look forward to working with my fellow state insurance regulators to better understand the insurance needs of the legalized cannabis industry and the role we can play in helping to address those insurance needs and other insurance regulatory issues.”