Marijuana legalization brings several questions to brokers

Published: November 2, 2018

Updated: November 30, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Ahead of the legalization of recreational marijuana on Oct. 17, the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario is urging brokers to ensure they know the habitational lease or contract situation of their clients.

Kevin O’Hare, IBAO’s education supervisor and instructional designer, says insurance brokers should take the time to know the dwelling situation of their customers. This is especially important if they live in an apartment of condominium complex.

“Many, if not all, landlords and condo boards will be revising their contracts for cannabis – some to allow, others to restrict,” O’Hare said. “That is likely to impact the client before their insurance policy does.”

Canadian Underwriter asked O’Hare what are the Top 3 things insurance professionals need to know about the upcoming cannabis legalization. While client information on dwelling was number one, O’Hare also discussed the difference between medical and recreational marijuana use.

“Medical marijuana has different rules and quantities, and also workplace impacts, that greatly differ from recreational marijuana,” O’Hare said. “Medical marijuana has more precedent to it, but also legal restrictions on how we can ask a client about it, whereas recreational marijuana will follow similarly to the established rules tobacco and alcohol currently have.”

As it states on O’Hare’s list is that this early into legalization, the insurance landscape is evolving and may change as time moves forward. “Clients are going to be more open about discussing it for their insurance needs, and that can be challenging for some,” O’Hare said. “As changes continue to arise, one needs to stay informed and adapt.”