We in the cannabis insurance business face many, many, hurdles, most of which are a hangover from when cannabis, a plant, was caught up in the Prohibition era and then left on the schedule after alcohol was made legal. Some of the insurance problems from then, like dram shop, are much what the canna business now faces. But, and thankfully, we live in a free press country, there are many untrue and unfortunate myths being perpetuated in the periodicals we read who write about marijuana.
The Wall Street Journal recently displayed on their editorial page an opinion, by Kevin Sabet, a former, temporary, government “official”, titled “The High Price of Federal Marijuana Legalization.” The author’s academic or experiential credentials have absolutely no stated credibility: so while noteworthy, he writes in part, that “These regulations on marijuana would put public health and safety at the forefront of federal marijuana policy. Any bill without certain provisions would be a giveaway to the marijuana industry and its investors. We should learn from our current drug epidemics-tobacco and opioids. Both have been disastrous and both stem from legal industries whose business model is to profit from addiction.” Really?
Sabet points out that we are seeing a rise in the potency of products being sold with THC: up to 90%. Kanna Risk Management, a consistent and relentless pursuer of the marketplace, has never seen such a high amount in any of the products we are regularly buying and researching.
Sabet also suggests there has been an increase in the use of high-potency vaping use among teens, (which has been mostly stopped) after legalization in Colorado, according to the American Automobile Association and The Colorado Department of Transportation, which both cover auto accident causes. Well yes, there are new numbers, but that is because they were never calculated in the past, so any increase is 100% more than before. That is called how to lie with statistics.
Sabet goes on to say that Altria, which owns Phillip Morris, has invested more than $2 billion in the medical marijuana industry including a 35% stake in Juul Labs, a wholesaler/retailer. Going on he writes that we’ve been fooled by “Big Tobacco” before by these companies which sell a product that kills more people than opioids: a questionable statement without any statistical evidence.
There is not ONE liability case in the U.S. court system that says marijuana , a plant, has killed someone. Does too much consumption of THC cause accidents and other untoward events? Certainly, but these wide-sweeping accusations against the industry are keeping government officials (Sabet worked for Obama) on the sidelines for rationale legalization and terrific tax revenue. Sabet goes on to say that “decriminalization not commercialization is the answer” —a conundrum?
He ends his public tirade by saying that both tobacco and opioids have been disastrous for the public and are perpetuated by companies whose job is” to profit from addiction”. This editorial needed editing.
The Chicago Tribune recently published a letter to the editor calling for the removal of advertising for cannabis, citing a mural on the wall of a Chicago Loop building by Cresco for selling MMJ. Aaron Weiner calls himself an “addiction specialist” in Lake Forest, Illinois, but does not list any academic credentials: for which profession there are several. He writes that the MMJ industry “should not be able to advertise its highly potent and addictive products, much less encourage its daily use.” He writes “remove the murals.” Unfortunately, these are only two of the many naysayers making it difficult for us in the industry to gain credibility and services, for whom Kanna Risk Management believes are mostly honest and sincere businesses trying to get banking and insurance and gain credibility in the marketplace.
The one way we can stem these inaccurate assertions is to join the credible non-profit associations like MPP, NCIA and the International Cannabis Lawyers Association who promote well-advised, rational reporting on cannabis.
More on this important issue later …see you next time: be safe and well…