Cannabis Business Insurance in Washington
Cannabis Dispensary
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Cannabis dispensary insurance in Washington State

Each state has its own laws and regulations for cannabis business insurance. In Washington, cannabis is approved for both medical and adult recreational use. Dispensaries must carry general liability insurance, as well as an additional insured in order to operate legally.

What types of insurance do Washington dispensaries need?

In Washington, cannabis businesses are regulated by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. Washington state law requires cannabis dispensaries to carry:

  • General liability insurance: Limits should not be less than $1 million and coverage must be insured through a carrier with a rating of A-Class VII or better.
  • Additional insured: Businesses must add the state and its employees, agents, and volunteers to the policy as an additional insured.

General liability insurance covers the most common risks of owning a small business, such as lawsuits from customers who suffer an injury or property damage at your shop. It is often required to sign a commercial lease, a loan, or a contract

To comply with Washington state law, your business needs to carry workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees. And, if you have any business-owned vehicles, state law requires that you carry commercial auto insurance.

Keep in mind that although Washington has approved cannabis for medical and recreational use, each city and town is permitted to decide whether or not to allow cannabis businesses. For example, dispensaries are legal in Seattle and Spokane, but banned in Federal Way, Kennewick, and Oakesdale.

You’ll need to research your state, county, and city laws to make sure your dispensary or other cannabis business is obeying the rules.

What other types of business insurance do I need for my cannabis dispensary?

While general liability insurance and additional insured coverage are vital to running a dispensary in Washington, they are not the only insurance products you need. Dispensary owners should also consider the following policies:

  • Product liability insurance covers legal costs if a customer sues over harm caused by a product sold at your dispensary, such as an adverse reaction to an edible. It’s often included in general liability insurance.
  • Commercial property insurance helps pay for lost, damaged, or destroyed business property. For example, it can cover the cost of replacing stolen inventory or renovating a marijuana dispensary’s building after a fire.
  • Property policies can include business interruption insurance, which covers costs when a fire or other covered property claim forces your business to close temporarily.
  • Additionally, you may need inland marine insurance to protect property in transit or stored off-site, as property insurance only covers items at your business location.

While these are a top priority for cannabis sellers, they aren’t the only policies you need to run a business. You can always call our dedicated agent at (872) 260-5150 if you’re unsure which policies you need.

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What are the laws and requirements for cannabis businesses in Washington?

Beyond general liability insurance and additional insured coverage, there are several other requirements for running a cannabis facility in Washington.

Perhaps most important, you need a license from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to open a dispensary or other cannabis business. To keep that license, you need to follow the Board's rules about selling, storing, and transporting cannabis.

For example, Washington requires cannabis businesses to:

  • Package and label items to include all required information, such as health warning
  • Market and advertise cannabis products in accordance with regulations 
  • Adhere to Washington cannabis tracking regulations, which includes using the Leaf Data Systems seed-to-sale system
  • Install a security system that includes video surveillance
  • Have employees hold and display an employer-issued ID badge at all times while working

Make sure to read the full list of Washington's requirements to be sure you’re in compliance with the complete list of laws and regulations for Washington.

How can I get business insurance for my Washington dispensary?

If you run a dispensary, you can complete Insureon’s easy online application to get quotes from top U.S. carriers. For other cannabis businesses, you can call our dedicated agent at (872) 260-5150 to get insurance quotes for your business. Once you find a policy that fits your needs, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.

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Updated: February 29, 2024
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