Cannabis Retail 101 | How to get Ontario cannabis retailer small business insurance
Change is in the air. Across Alberta, BC and other Canadian provinces the growth of cannabis retailer small businesses is hard to miss. However, here in Ontario, the pace has been somewhat slower, due in part, to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So far, only 150 stores are currently open.1
But, this is all changing thanks to a Sept 1, 2020 announcement by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. They note, “At the government’s direction, the AGCO is now moving to double the pace of store authorizations this fall. The AGCO will soon contact all affected retail store applicants directly to advise them of any change to the timing of the issuance of their store authorizations.”2
And with future cannabis retailers flocking to dispensariesnearme.ca to see where market opportunities exist in the province, getting insurance for a new cannabis retail store is top of mind. Meanwhile, unique cannabis retailer small businesses like Superette on Yonge Street are connecting with new target audiences. According to the owner, the Rosedale cannabis retailer is:
“made to resemble an old school deli and flower bodega with a direct line to the Rosedale Diner to order emergency hamburgers for when the munchies strike — increases the value of the neighbouring retailers and will help everybody increase sales during the pandemic.”3
Whether you’re planning your cannabis retailer small business, about to open doors or thinking about expanding, getting the best insurance options is essential.
That is to say, aligning choice and value for your cannabis retail store coverage will give you peace of mind to focus on growing opportunities across the province.
Rules, Regulations & Risks – What Ontario cannabis retailer small businesses need to know
Opening any new business isn’t easy. Firstly, for a government regulated business like cannabis retailing, it’s even harder. Secondly, there are multiple steps that you need to go through just to get licenced as well as pre-opening inspections to prepare for. After that, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario sets out multiple requirements that every cannabis retailer small business must adhere to. For example, public notification process, location, product visibility, video surveillance, storage, other businesses, store management and unauthorized access are all mandated.4
And there are also reporting requirements – periodic and incident-based reporting, monthly federal reporting and monthly sales reporting.5
All of these requirements mean that operating a cannabis retailer small business in Ontario isn’t easy. That is to say, when you’re in a relatively new industry with complex rules and regulations you also face multiple risks.
This is why it’s important to work with brokers with extensive small business experience. Most importantly, brokers who know how to get small business insurance Ontario options lined up for clients. In Toronto and across the province, ALIGNED Insurance brokers are 100% focused on delivering 100% commercial / small business insurance Ontario value, choice and options to our clients.
In short, working with us means that you are working with brokers who are experienced in meeting the needs of Ontario cannabis retailers.
New industry = new risks | What Ontario cannabis retailers need to get covered
Grabbing attention is key to marketing any small business. This is why a father and son business on Queen Street East in Toronto is already generating headlines. For instance, Cannabis Retailer notes that The Neighbourhood Joint (TNJ) is attracting customers thanks to an innovative product delivery device. “they have pneumatic tubes. Yes, pneumatic tubes deliver products to the customer in a little pod. Yes, they look as cool as you think they would.
According to Rhodes, the tubes are partly an ode to old Toronto, when over 5,000 km of tubes delivered mail throughout the city, and partly a unique solution to a design problem.”6 Likewise, because today’s customers value experience, the delivery of products via tubes is already creating positive buzz about the new store. The co-owner notes, it’s “a super cool way for customers to remember us and have their product delivered. Everyone loves it, it’s really neat.”7
However, as much as grabbing customer attention is cool, cannabis retailers are also facing specific risks.
- Spoilage risk of cannabis retail inventory (including mould and fungus)
- Misunderstandings related to Canadian cannabis laws and regulations
- High business interruption exposure due to the value of cannabis products
- Higher probability of fire
- High market/dollar value of cannabis products and inventory
This is why working with an ALIGNED Insurance broker who knows the cannabis insurance marketplace is so important. We understand the risks you face as a cannabis retailer in Ontario and how to get the best options and value for your small business.
Get ALIGNED expertise for all of your ON cannabis retailer insurance needs
In short, there’s more than just the obvious slip, trip and fall risks you need to worry about when operating a cannabis retail store. In the same vein, there are exposures such as crime, cyber liability and product recalls that you need to manage. Thankfully, there are small business products that can help you safeguard your bottom line and financial investment.
- Commercial General Liability Insurance
- Directors & Officers (D&O) / Board Insurance
- Errors & Omissions (E&O) / Professional Liability / Indemnity Insurance
- Crime Insurance / Fidelity Insurance
- Cyber Liability & Privacy Insurance
- Property Insurance
- Product Recall Insurance
- Umbrella Liability Insurance
In addition to these cannabis business insurance options, we’re regularly updating our Insurance Blog with informative posts about cannabis. Most importantly, here are a few insightful articles we’ve posted about cannabis-related insurance. For instance:
- Opening a cannabis retail store in Alberta? We make it simple to align your cannabis retailer insurance
- Selling cannabis in BC? Here’s a guide to cannabis retailer insurance options
- Cannabis 101 | Catering to cannabis tourists? How to get insured in Canada
- Why cannabis industry companies in Canada face a multitude of risks
- Considering a cannabis health products start up? Consider risk first.
- Insuring a cannabis edibles company in Canada
In conclusion, if you are looking for the best cannabis retailer options for your Ontario small business, you’ve landed on the right page.
So regardless of where your cannabis retail store is located in Ontario, you can count on us to help you get the best insurance options aligned.
Source(s): 1,2 AGCO.ca: Cannabis Retail Store Authorization Issuance Update ; 3 trnto.com: Cannabis dispensaries in Ontario could hit 1,000 by next fall ; 4,5 AGCO.ca: Retail Store Pre-Authorization / Opening Inspection ; 6,7 Cannabisretailer.ca: How one Toronto store stands out to customers ;