As a part of the AAIS Pulse: Chicago presentation, AAIS Product Manager of Commercial Lines Joe Jonas hosted Rich Golz from Symphony Risk Solutions to explore the cannabis marketplace and what to expect from this spacing moving forward.
Rich Golz kicked off the discussion by stating, "The cannabis business is just so unique, the buyers are a different type of person typically, the exposures are very different, and the carriers are all very different. While these companies have fantastic resources, they are not necessarily the resources that the cannabis business needs. Symphony Grow is built specifically to address everyone A to Z cannabis. Insurance, risk management and a huge variety of partners on top of that."
Joe Jonas followed up with a discussion on market trends regarding the cannabis industry. He expressed that something that is top of mind for him was the political landscape. "It is continually shifting, and a few years ago there was a lot of optimism around the cannabis industry. Cannabis potentially becoming legalized, or moving in that direction, " shared Jonas. "We just recent saw Biden make a declaration with respect to the level of cannabis, marijuana and criminal arrests." Jonas then asked Golz his thoughts on if the statements from Biden will make any significant changes across the cannabis industry.
Golz responded by saying, "Obviously the federal landscape is probably the biggest thing shaping what the cannabis insurance business looks like. The fact that it is still federally illegal means that most traditional admitted carriers won't touch it. It is all access in surplus, very limited, twenty page applications...What I would say is that I think speaking about business, I don't know if this is much more than lip service. We are still sitting on the same banking act that has been proposed for the past five years now that would allow financial institutions to work with cannabis businesses, and that continues to not pass."
Golz continued to share that he doesn't think federal decriminalization of low level cannabis charges is an indicator that the federal government is going to move towards legalization and recognize the industry. He feels it is a step in the right direction and will make a difference in people's lives as well as creates positive cultural momentum. With that, Golz still doesn't foresee cannabis becoming legalized anytime soon.
To view the full interview with Joe Jonas and Rich Golz, please click the video above.