Selling cannabis in BC? Here’s a guide to cannabis retailer insurance options
Online products. Record-breaking sales. Cannabis retailers are leading the provinces when it comes to meeting consumer demand and connecting products to buyers in new ways.
According to Vancouver Sun, “Sales of cannabis products from licensed retailers in British Columbia rose from $4.2 million in June 2019 to $29.4 million in June 2020. Latest Statistics Canada data showed that across Canada licensed cannabis product sales jumped from $91.7 million to $201 million during the same period. So while the Canadian numbers jumped by just under 120 per cent, the B.C. increase was almost 600 per cent.”1
In addition, cannabis retailers in BC are now able to offer online payment for cannabis products. CBC.ca notes, “customers will be able to pay through a website, app, or by telephone. Attorney General David Eby says the change “supports public health and safety by reducing the amount of time customers need to spend in stores and allows them to remain physically distanced from employees and each other. ”2
With cannabis retail sales to BC consumers booming, expanding or launching a cannabis retail business in the province is on the minds of many entrepreneurs.
Regardless of the size of business you are planning in the cannabis retail industry, it is important to get the best BC business insurance options lined up. Keep reading to learn more about what coverages are most important for cannabis retailers as well as risk exposures that you can get covered.
Risk insights for cannabis businesses | What you need to know
Starting up any business involves risk assessments. And when you’re starting up in a brand new industry like cannabis retailing, additional complexities are involved. This is why it is important for every new and existing cannabis retailer in BC to have a current and ongoing understanding of how cannabis licensing works.
- Licence types – cannabis retail store licence
- Application screenings, security screenings and financial integrity checks
- Worker information, Worker Qualification Guidebook, Selling it Right certification
- Ordering cannabis
- Reporting requirements for non-medical cannabis retail stores
- Application statistics
- Map of cannabis retail stores in B.C.
- COVID Temporary Extension Application3
Operating a business within a highly regulated industry means that in addition to basic retail best practices – such as avoiding slip, trip and fall situations – you are also responsible for adhering to multiple rules, regulations, reporting requirements and more.
DYK? | Restrictions to your operations…
You are also specifically prohibited from taking part in certain activities. For instance:
- “Arranging with a person to sell cannabis from one federally licensed producer to the exclusion of another, such as accepting payment from a producer for agreeing not to sell a competitor’s product
- Accepting money, gifts, reward or remuneration for the promotion, inducement or further the sale of a particular brand of cannabis, such as preferential shelf space
- Requesting money, gifts, reward or remuneration for the promotion, inducement or further the sale of a particular class of cannabis or brand of cannabis”4
The complexities of operating a cannabis retail store in BC are yet another reason why working with an experienced insurance broker is so important. Above all, you need to know that your broker knows the market and how to place the specific risks you face as a BC-based cannabis retailer.
With years of experience working in the cannabis field, ALIGNED insurance brokers not only know the market but how to secure the best options.
Cannabis 101 | Getting your cannabis retail risks covered
Hiding in plain sight. That’s often the way that risks crop up. And in the highlight regulated world of cannabis retailing, some of the most obvious risks may also be the ones that get overlooked.
For example, let’s say an employee steals from your cannabis retail store. On the other hand, maybe your online cannabis retail database gets hacked. Or you are looking to recruit and retain directors to join your board. For all of these situations and more, you need to get the best possible solutions to protect your organization.
This is why getting insurance for your cannabis retailer business in BC will most likely require multiple coverages. Thankfully, the insurance brokers at ALIGNED have a thorough understanding of your business and how to secure the best possible options.
Above all, opening or expanding a physical cannabis retail store means that you need to get the best insurance products aligned. Across Canada and specifically in BC, our cannabis retail business insurance experts are here to help with the process of securing the best coverage and providing current risk management guidance.
Fire. Infractions. Business Interruption. | Risks that you’ll likely encounter
Every industry faces risks. And when you are expanding sales online and experiencing record-breaking sales things can go wrong quickly. During times of change and growth, sometimes risks can trip you up. This is why it is so important to understand as well as manage the risks that you can control. For example:
- Spoilage risk of cannabis retail inventory (including mould and fungus)
- High market/dollar value of cannabis products and inventory
- Misunderstandings related to Canadian cannabis laws and regulations
- High business interruption exposure due to the value of cannabis products
- Higher probability of fire
In addition to understanding risks you also need to keep current with insurance options for your business. Moreover, this is why we keep adding informative posts about cannabis to our Insurance Blog.
Here are links that will take you to some of our newest insights related to cannabis in Canada.
- Why Ontario is the epicentre of Canadian cannabis clinical trials
- From seed to harvest. The many risks that cannabis growers insurance can cover.
- What information is needed to get insurance for a cannabis accessory company
- Why CBD oil products aren’t straight-forward to insure
Across Canada, ALIGNED brokers know the insurance marketplace and can deliver the best value and options for your cannabis retail store. In short, when your BC cannabis retail are consumers booming, expanding or launching, we can help you get business insurance that aligns your risks.
Source(s): 1 VancouverSun.com: B.C. legal cannabis sales roar past national average ; 2 CBC.ca: B.C. changes regulations around cannabis sales to permit online purchases ; 3, 4 British Columbia Cannabis Retail Portal