How Legal Marijuana Works with Homeowners Insurance

By USDR

As “reefer madness” sweeps across the country, prohibition of marijuana seems to be ending, and this has people wondering: is marijuana covered by homeowner’s insurance? Now that it’s legal, growing marijuana in the backyard or green house should be equated to growing a rose bush. While the cannabis industry has not struggled to obtain insurance, it has been a bit of a struggle for private citizens who want to grow their own plants to qualify for insurance.

In the event of a fire or burglary, you will want all of your belongings to be protected—this includes your clothes, jewelry, electronics and expensive greenery. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma surrounding marijuana use. This makes it difficult for insurance companies to publicly integrate marijuana protection as part of their homeowners insurance coverage plans.

To help you weed through this complicated issue, here are a few factors that could impact whether or not your marijuana plants will be covered under your current insurance policy.

Location

Marijuana is available for medicinal purposes in over half of the United States. Noticing the economic boom states like Colorado and Washington were having with medicinal marijuana, other state governments decided issuing recreational marijuana use legislation could help bolster their own local economies. The states that allow the recreational use of marijuana as of 2017 are:

  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Alaska
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts

That said, if you are outside one of the states that allows for recreational marijuana use, you will definitely not be seeing any homeowner’s insurance coverage on lost or stolen marijuana plants.

Amount

The states that have legalized marijuana all have laws about how much can be held and stored at any one time. You will not be able to insure more than the legal limit set in your particular state. For example, in Colorado, you can have up to one ounce of marijuana in your possession—any more than that can result in legal charges or fines.

While recreational use is catching on, some of the states that allow for medicinal use of marijuana come with more stringent protocols for use and require approval from a physician to be eligible to purchase marijuana.

Insurance  Policy

With the wide spread use of legal marijuana, the cannabis market is experiencing huge growth. However, many aspects of the insurability of cannabis remain uncertain and often contested at the state level. Here are a couple ways to ensure that your plants are as insurable as possible:

  • Speak with Your Policy Carrier: The terms of a homeowner’s insurance policy will vary, but most will include some version of the language regarding controlled substances. Only your insurance provider will be able to explicitly tell you if you are covered or not.

  • Do Not Become a Business: Just about every homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover business activity.

  • Stay Compliant with State Law: This should be obvious, but understand the marijuana laws for your state and adhere to them strictly.

Compare homeowners insurance policies online with different companies all at once with companies like CoverHound. Comparing policies will help you make sure you find a coverage plan that will adequately cover you as well as your marijuana plants.

Although most standard homeowner’s insurance policies are written in a way that marijuana would be covered (assuming it is legally owned), it may not always be covered. Marijuana is still categorized as a Schedule 1 drug and is federally illegal.

Even though it is widely gaining acceptance, it is still in a moral grey area for a lot of America. The best advice you can get regarding your cannabis plants and homeowner’s insurance is to just speak with your provider for peace of mind.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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