With 30 states as well as the District of Columbia passing laws that broadly legalize marijuana possession and production, the cannabis industry is growing at a rapid rate. In fact, legal weed sales in North America were projected to reach $10 billion by the end of 2017 — a 33% increase from 2016, according to a report from Arcview Market Research.
However, despite the massive growth, the cannabis industry fails to receive the same treatment as any other legal business in the United States when it comes to healthcare benefits for its employees. This is due, in part, by fear from insurance carriers to underwrite for these businesses and the inability for cannabis companies to receive tax write-offs for offering healthcare to their staff.
Mike Patton, benefits adviser and partner at Quandary Insurance out of Denver, Colo., says he has discovered a pattern of ancillary benefit carriers who also work as financial services firms will not underwrite cannabis companies.
“These carriers are regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and deal in securities and investments in wealth management,” Patton says. “These firms are significantly more regulated.” [Read more @ Employeebenefitadviser]