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Cannabis Safe Harbor Legislation Introduced in House

Last week, legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide a comprehensive federal safe harbor for insurers and agents to protect them from criminal and civil liability when offering insurance coverage to state-legalized cannabis businesses.
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Last week, legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to provide a comprehensive federal safe harbor for insurers—including independent agents and brokers—to protect them from criminal and civil liability when offering insurance coverage to state-legalized cannabis businesses.

H.R. 4074, the “Clarifying Law Around Insurance Marijuana (CLAIM) Act,” introduced and sponsored by Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-New York) and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), would prevent federal criminal prosecution and civil liability for agents, brokers, and insurers, their officers, directors or employees. This legislation would help consumers who may have direct or indirect contact with state-legalized cannabis businesses to access insurance products and services and utilize the protections they offer. Finally, the legislation would enable agents and brokers to comply with state statutory and regulatory requirements.

“Without this legislation, insurers will understandably be reticent to insure businesses operating in the cannabis sector,” Rep. Velazquez said in a statement. “This means a legal cannabis distributor whose product is ruined from a flood or fire could lose all their capital and their livelihood. This bipartisan bill corrects these problems and I’m proud to introduce it.”

Of note, the “CLAIM Act” was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota). In both the House and Senate, the Big “I” was the largest independent agent and broker trade association advocating and working on the legislation and, along with a group of other trade associations, issued a letter supporting the legislation.

Joseph Cortina is Big “I” director of federal government affairs.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020
On the Hill