Cannabis: Debunking myths and how to target this growing industry

May 19, 2021

In 2020, there were segments of businesses that seemed more “pandemic proof” than others—the cannabis industry was one of them. Nationwide, cannabis sales increased more than 60% last year. It is projected that this segment will continue to grow as more states legalize recreational cannabis.  Before 2021, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont enacted legislation that allows the use of recreational cannabis. This year, the list of states in the Northeast region grew when both New Jersey and New York signed bills that legalize recreational cannabis.

There are several myths surrounding the cannabis industry that are important to debunk. Tune in to PIA Northeast’s Virtual Conference 2021, on Wednesday, June 9, from 1-2 p.m., to hear a 45-minute discussion led by Barbara Winsky, CPCU, AIS, ASLI, ARM, ARe, CRIS, CIW, the vice president of property/casualty at Russell Bond & Co.; Charles Pyfrom, the chief marketing officer at CannGenn Insurance Services; and Art Catapang, the principal managing partner at Coastline Risk Inc.—during which they will debunk these myths, and share how to target this rapidly growing industry. During this session, the panelists will discuss the cannabis insurance ecosystem, and the primary and ancillary business segments that you need to think of when specializing in this space.

Catapang will share his retail perspective on how he became known in the cannabis space. Hear about with whom he connected, and why he chose those partners. Further, Catapang will share his views on how to differentiate your approach from other retailer brokers, and how to offer value to a cannabis client beyond the insurance transaction. He will offer advice to any retailer broker who wants to get into cannabis insurance.

Pyfrom will help you look through the lenses of a carrier perspective, and he will share what he is looking for in a potential new business partner—including what the vetting process entails. Additionally, Pyfrom will walk you through how the application process has evolved over time, and what the biggest differentiators are when processing cannabis and noncannabis business.

Both Catapang and Pyfrom will discuss the current insurance coverage gaps in this space, they will discuss how policies currently are worded across carriers, and they’ll tell you what to watch out for when reviewing an insurance proposal. Additionally, Catapang and Pyfrom will go over the next hot-button issues in the ever-evolving cannabis space.

Finally, since New Jersey and New York legalized recreational cannabis recently, the million-dollar question will be discussed—Now what? Learn from this group what you can expect, and what the projected time frames are.

This session will conclude with a 15-minute Q-&-A.

Barbara Simpson-Winsky
Russell Bond & Co. Inc. | + posts

Barbara Simpson-Winsky, CPCU, AIS, ASLI, ARM, ARe, CRIS, TRIP, is the vice president of property/casualty for Russell Bond & Co. Inc., and leads teams in both Buffalo, N.Y., and New England. Additionally, she is the market relationship manager for p/c. Simpson-Winsky is the co-lead for the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association Education Committee and is passionate about mentoring and developing others in the insurance industry.

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