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Calif. approves state’s first surety bond program for cannabis industry


California has approved the state’s first surety bond program for the cannabis industry, according to a statement Wednesday from the office of State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Surety bonds for the cannabis business can now be issued by Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based Continental Heritage Insurance Co., the first insurer in the state to be approved to offer surety bonds for the cannabis industry, the statement said.

Such bonds are required for certain licensing. The state of California requires a $5,000 surety bond for most licensing categories, the statement said.

"Cannabis businesses should have insurance coverage available to them just like any other California business," Mr. Jones said in the statement.

“I encourage more insurance companies to file cannabis business insurance products with the department to meet the needs of this emerging market," he added.

Mr. Jones launched an initiative last year to encourage commercial insurance companies to write insurance to fill coverage gaps for the cannabis industry, the statement said. In October of last year, Jones held a first-in-the-nation public hearing to identify insurance gaps faced by the cannabis industry.