A bipartisan bill that would ensure legal marijuana and related businesses have access to insurance coverage has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, just days after the bill was introduced in the Senate.
Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., and Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, have introduced H.R. 4074, the Clarifying Law Around Insurance Marijuana, or CLAIM, Act, which would help businesses operating in the rapidly growing cannabis sector obtain insurance products, according to a statement issued by the office of Rep. Velázquez on Monday.
“Due to discrepancies in federal and state law, insurers are understandably reluctant to provide coverage to legitimate, cannabis-based businesses,” Rep. Velázquez said in the statement. “Without casualty, property and title insurance coverage, the growth of this industry will be impeded if not blocked entirely.”
The CLAIM Act establishes a federal “safe harbor” to prevent federal criminal prosecution of insurers that transact with consumers and would prevent civil liability for agents, brokers and insurers that do business with the cannabis sector.
In addition to the insurance provisions, the House bill would require a Government Accountability Office study of hurdles facing women and minority entrepreneurs interested in entering the cannabis sector.
“For far too long, minority communities bore the brunt of our country’s backward marijuana policies,” Rep. Velázquez said. “As we normalize these products and this becomes a business, we must ensure minorities, women and other disadvantaged groups are able to enter this market and profit from this burgeoning industry.”
The CLAIM Act has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee.
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