Insurers Find Business From Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


What’s a medical marijuana supplier to do when a worker is injured? Or when a burglar makes off with the pot? The Sacramento Bee says the answer increasingly is to call the insurance company. Insurance firms are turning to one of the state’s few growth industries, medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs for short), as a new source of business.

In 1996, California voters approved Proposition 215, which allows physicians to recommend cannabis for cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines or “any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.” The number of dispensaries jumped when the Obama administration said it would not arrest marijuana growers and sellers who abide by state laws. Previously, federal officials had prosecuted them. Dispensary growth has been so rapid the industry and commercial insurers can’t pin down specific numbers. Low-end estimates put the number in California at about 1,000. Others say it’s closer to 2,000.

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