Menendez Introduces Bipartisan Marijuana Insurance coverage Invoice as Extra States Enact Hashish Legal guidelines

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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee and chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the insurance coverage trade, as we speak introduced the introduction of bipartisan laws that ensures authorized marijuana and associated companies have entry to complete and reasonably priced insurance coverage protection.  The Clarifying Regulation Round Insurance coverage of Marijuana (CLAIM) Act of 2021 is cosponsored by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).

All however six states have marijuana legalization or decriminalization legal guidelines on the books for leisure or medicinal functions.  Within the 2020 election, voters in New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, Mississippi and South Dakota accepted of making or increasing the authorized use of marijuana.  Final month, New Jersey, which had legalized hashish for medicinal functions, enacted historic reform laws legalizing and regulating grownup leisure use.

“The voters in New Jersey spoke loud and clear this November once they overwhelmingly accepted of leisure marijuana use, the governor and state legislature have acted, and now it’s time for the federal authorities to take the shackles off of state-authorized hashish companies, permitting this burgeoning trade to thrive,” mentioned Sen. Menendez.  “Present federal legislation prevents these small enterprise house owners from getting insurance coverage protection, and with out it, they’ll’t defend their property, workers or clients.  Our laws merely ranges the taking part in discipline for authorized hashish companies, permitting them to totally function simply as every other authorized small enterprise would by allowing insurance coverage corporations to offer protection to those enterprises with out danger of federal prosecution or different unintended penalties.”

“The ideas behind the CLAIM Act are easy: respect the voices of the states and their folks and cease shutting out legit companies from acquiring fundamental protections,” mentioned Sen. Paul.  “The states are making their very own selections on these points, and it’s time for the federal authorities to simply accept that.”

“State authorized hashish companies shouldn’t be shut out from the type of instruments and monetary companies all companies have to thrive—together with insurance coverage to guard shops, clients, and staff from an surprising emergency,” mentioned Sen. Merkley.  “It’s time to cross the CLAIM Act, so we will ship on that precept, and proceed working collectively to help our native companies.”

The CLAIM Act ensures companies working underneath state legal guidelines which have legalized leisure or medical marijuana have entry to insurance coverage merchandise equivalent to employee’s compensation, property, casualty and title insurance coverage.  As a result of they may very well be prosecuted or face penalties underneath federal legislation, these state-authorized hashish companies are sometimes denied entry to the insurance coverage market leaving them susceptible and risking the security of workers, clients, and the neighborhood.  Companies can be denied financial institution financing if they don’t have the right insurance coverage.

The CLAIM Act would:

 

  • Prohibit penalizing or discouraging an insurer from offering protection to a state-sanctioned and controlled hashish enterprise, or an related enterprise (equivalent to a cleansing service or landlord offering companies to a authorized hashish enterprise);
  • Prohibit the termination or limitation of an insurer’s insurance policies solely as a result of the insurer has engaged within the enterprise of insurance coverage in reference to a cannabis-related enterprise;
  • Prohibit recommending, incentivizing, or encouraging an insurer to not interact within the enterprise of insurance coverage in reference to a policyholder, or downgrade or cancel the insurance coverage supplied to a hashish or cannabis-related enterprise;
  • Prohibit the federal authorities from taking any antagonistic or corrective supervisory motion on a coverage to an proprietor or operator of a cannabis-related enterprise or actual property or gear that’s leased to a cannabis-related enterprise, solely as a result of the proprietor or operator is engaged with a hashish or cannabis-related enterprise; and
  • Defend workers of an insurer from any legal responsibility solely for partaking within the enterprise of insurance coverage with a hashish or cannabis-related enterprise.

Sens. Menendez and Paul additionally cosponsored the Safe and Truthful Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019, which was launched by Sen. Merkley within the final Congress, to make sure that authorized marijuana companies can entry banking companies, equivalent to strains of credit score, financial savings and checking accounts, processing clients’ bank cards and worker payrolls.

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez (D-N.Y.-07) plans to introduce companion laws within the Home of Representatives.

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