Washington state rules (leg.wa.gov) require you to buy insurance to protect your marijuana business from potential losses. All marijuana (or cannabis) businesses must be licensed by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.
Who may need to buy marijuana business-related insurance
- Marijuana retail stores
- Marijuana producers
- Marijuana processors
- Landlords who rent to marijuana business owners
What insurance covers
In Washington state, your coverage must include (leg.wa.gov):
- Commercial general liability coverage – This protects business owners against losses due to bodily injury or property damage that occur during business operations.
- An insurance carrier rating of an A-Class VII or better – The insurer must have good financial stability, claims service and customer satisfaction ratings.
- Additional insured – This means you must add the state and its employees, agents, and volunteers to your policy as an additional insured to protect them in the event your business is negligent.
Be sure to talk with an insurance agent or broker about the availability and type of coverage you’ll need for your business.
What it doesn't cover
Your insurance company may cover your business's liability and property but exclude marijuana products. This is due to the conflict between state and federal laws regarding cannabis.
Some cannabis business owners run their businesses out of their homes. Be aware some homeowner insurance policies contain exclusions for using your home to operate a marijuana business.
Where to find coverage
The sale of cannabis is legal in Washington state. However, some insurers won't offer you coverage because the federal government still considers it an illegal substance. Coverage may only be available from high risk, non-Washington licensed insurers called surplus line insurance companies.
Talk to your insurance agent or broker, they can help you obtain coverage through a surplus line insurance company.
What it costs
The premiums vary among insurance companies, so comparison shop for cost and coverage.