As the year begins to wind down, many dispensaries are worried about the year ahead. With many walls in front of them, they are looking at uncertainty moving forward.
Among the many issues facing the industry, some of the issues are manufactured or something that can’t be controlled. This includes federal legislation. While at the state level most have some rule regarding medical and commercial cannabis usage, at the federal level its still considered illegal. In fact, it is considered a Schedule 1 drug, a category that includes heroin, a decidedly more dangerous and very deadly narcotic. As a result, dispensaries can’t operate with federal insured banks and thus conduct mostly cash transactions.
According to Rocco Petrilli, Chief Operating Officer and board chair of the National Cannabis Risk Management Association, the problems insuring cannabis all stem from the perception of the drug. “The risks that the cannabis business owners are facing are not inherent in cannabis, but they come from the outside world that are inflicted on them,”Petrilli said when talking about risk factors. On top of the safety stemming from the recent vaping health crisis, legislation, the risk of running afoul of the federal government and public perception keeps insurance companies from working with and providing their products for dispensaries.
When discussing business with a dispensary, one must know the local state laws on cannabis. As it is still subject to federal guidelines interstate commerce of the product is illegal and you can be fined for insuring them.