By: Gary Bleetstein- February, 2019 ASG Insight



The debate continues in the life underwriting as to how the use of Cannabis should be treated for Underwriting purposes.

 Today, Marijuana use is the third most used drug in the US- just after Alcohol use which is legal in all states.

Here are some facts about marijuana use in the US and Canada

Canada has recently as federal law permitted recreational use of Marijuana in many forms in all areas of the Country

In the US- 

·        25 states permit medicinal marijuana

·        18 states have broad laws for marijuana

·        12 states allow for recreational use and more states are adopting laws for recreational use every week

Here are some other facts about use in the US

·        10.6 million people use marijuana 10 times a year

·        4 million people use marijuana twice a month

·        2.3 million people use marijuana once a week

·        5.4 million people use marijuana daily

Here is the Conundrum in underwriting marijuana use

·        Under Federal Law marijuana use and profits are illegal

·        Under state laws- it is legal

·        There are not enough facts about the use of marijuana and how it will effect long term or short term mortality

 Some other considerations include

·        Most carriers do NOT test for marijuana use

·        The industry does not know who is telling the truth on underwriting and medical questions

·        Many MD s do not as a practice put all marijuana use facts in the records

So what do you do if a client is using marijuana or in the marijuana business

·        Your client is best to tell the truth

·        Medical Marijuana use underwriting will be based on the reason the client has a marijuana prescription

·        For recreation use- we have seen offers from Best Class to STD based on amount of use

·        For client s investing or owners in the marijuana business- it will be extremely hard to get business coverage- they can in some cases get personal coverage

In closing – this is a very liquid and rapidly changing scene and your client should not be afraid to apply for life insurance- we recommend you call us first to pre-underwrite the situation.