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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree: Cannasure Insurance Services

After graduating from the University of Dayton, Patrick McManamon went to work for a national investment business before joining his father and the family insurance business, McManamon Insurance, based in Cleveland, Ohio in 2002 as an account executive. By 2004, Patrick was promoted to President and continued his preparation to eventually take over the operation as his father had done from his father before him. He had success in the dental and medical malpractice liability practice signing up large premium clients and helping them with their risk management while dropping the loss ratios for his underwriters, and helped grow their client base geography from 2 states to 21 … a great formula for success in the insurance business.

In 2009, a friend from college who had relocated to San Diego called to see if Patrick could help him find affordable, adequate insurance coverage for his dispensary. After describing his challenges, Patrick made a trip to the location and immediately noticed the preponderance of dispensaries that had opened and began checking into coverages and premiums being offered and viable options.

He took over the search and started talking with insurance carriers and immediately became aware of the amount of misinformation about the Cannabis Industry and that the stigma associated with the nascent Medical Marijuana Industry was one not based in fact. They also discovered that there were many shysters and fly-by-night brokers and agencies looking to just make a quick buck without understanding the needs of the Collectives, Cooperatives, Dispensaries and Growers.

In 2010, Patrick and his partner, attorney Kevin Murphy, attended one of the first cannabis conferences. They left the event convinced that there was an opportunity to become the first pure play insurance company exclusively devoted to the needs of all industry segments and began their real due diligence in creating Cannasure Insurance Services LLC (CIS).

They started CIS in 2010, the first and arguably still only pure play industry provider with the singular purpose of helping the Medical Marijuana Industry secure insurance products at a reasonable cost. Before leaving his position in the family business in 2012, Patrick and his partners spent time and due diligence formatting their firm and deciding on best practices to serve the industry.

As a wholesaler and Managing General Agency, CIS works with a select group of underwriters. Their industry knowledge allows them to assist underwriters in creating policies that serve both the client and the underwriter’s needs and they design risk rating structures for the international community.

By travelling extensively domestically and meeting with potential clients, insurers and independent brokers, they developed their policy procedures and worked through them with their potential carriers, which Patrick indicated can be counted on the fingers of one hand (they also eliminated any carriers that had federal government restrictions during this process). Their alternative risk strategy process development allows CIS to offer true risk management solutions to their customers.

After two years of extensive discovery and business strategy development and implementation, Patrick and his team began to sell (he left his position at the family business in 2012 to run CIS fulltime) and CIS experienced 600 percent growth in 2014. He attributes the meteoric growth to adding new clients, but also, to the focus and dedication his team and network of over 180 independent brokers have made to create and serving a product mix that includes:

  • Cannasure Marijuana Dispensary Insurance;
  • Medical & Recreational Marijuana Growers Insurance;
  • Infused Product Manufacturer product liability insurance;
  • Cannasure Medical & Recreational Marijuana Insurance for Landlords;
  • Provide Ancillary Businesses with general and professional liability, property, products and workmen’s compensation;
  • Medical Marijuana Physician Insurance.

Patrick is also quick to point out that CIS has a 90 percent renewal rate, so the premium revenue pump is not only primed over the long-term, but CIS also keeps adding $300-400K in premiums on a monthly basis.

On a personal note, Patrick shared that CIS’s success has drawn scrutiny from the banks. In 2014, they not only shut down CIS and his personal accounts, but also went after McManamon Insurance’s accounts as well. He was thankful for the support of his partners and clients in helping him through the disruptions this caused and plowed ahead with terrific growth gains last year.

So, this apple has now taken root and the CIS orchard continues to spread nationally. We look forward to watching it continue to grow.

Company Name: Cannasure Insurance Services LLC

Year Founded: 2010

Ownership Structure: Private Company Incorporated in Ohio

Management Team: Patrick McManamon, CEO; Erik Vaughan, Finance Director; Kevin Murphy, General Counsel

Headquarters: Cleveland, Ohio


Industry Segment/Category: Insurance and Risk Management

Current Markets/States Served: Licensed to sell insurance in all regulated states, primary states served include AZ, CO, IL, MA, NV, OR, WA, CA

Current Number of employees: Six (6)

Independent Agents Selling for CIS: Over 180

Market Strategy/Goal: Target Middle Market of Producers, Processors, Retailers, Landlords, Medical Marijuana Physicians, and ancillary cannabis businesses.

2014 Revenues: Did not disclose but are gaining 30-50 new customers each month; have 450-500 active customers with 90 percent renewal rates. Averaging $300k-$400k a month in new premiums.

Current Product Mix:

  • Cannasure Marijuana Dispensary Insurance;
  • Medical & Recreational Marijuana Growers Insurance;
  • Infused Product Manufacturer product liability insurance;
  • Cannasure Medical & Recreational Marijuana Insurance for Landlords;
  • Provide Ancillary Businesses with general and professional liability, property, products and workmen’s compensation;
  • Medical Marijuana Physician Insurance.

Financing strategy: To date from operations and seed capital



Rob MeagherRob Meagher

Rob Meagher

Rob Meagher, CBE’s Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief is a 30 year veteran of the media world. His career has spanned from stints representing the Washington Post, USA Weekend, Reader’s Digest, Financial World & Corporate Finance to the technology world where he worked at International Data Group and Ziff Davis where he was part of the launch team for The Web Magazine, Yahoo Internet Life, Smart Business and Expedia Travels before starting his own marketing and Publisher’s Representative Firm. He also ran all print and online media sales and marketing for the Society for Human Resource Management before partnering with Forbes and then Fortune to create Special Sections covering a variety of topics. Rob, who started CBE Press in 2014, can be contacted at [email protected]

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