Golden Bear is the first admitted insurance carrier in the U.S. to offer cannabis coverage for cultivators, manufacturers, retail dispensaries, and others. See what the challenges of being “first” can be, and how COVID-19 is having an effect for Jackson, the company's general counsel.
Jackson says litigation is always adversarial, but with so many conversations in a post-COVID-19 environment starting with “How are you doing? Is everybody safe and well there?” she is seeing greater civility in the legal profession these days. She says there is something about having children in the next room that tends to quiet hostilities.
A NEW VENUE OPTION?
“I’ve heard some municipalities are considering holding jury trials in stadiums.” -Jackson, noting one of the many solutions being tossed around for dealing with COVID-19 courtroom restrictions. She doesn’t expect the idea to grow legs, though—too reminiscent of the Roman gladiator days.
A LOT OF GREEN IN THAT GOO
Jackson says one of the difficulties of insuring cannabis operations is getting overworked police departments to understand how big the scope of a property crime can be against one of these businesses. She says many police departments might think having 50 jars of distillate stolen is just a bunch of “goo,” but that goo could be worth $500,000—a hefty property loss.
“Court closures and civil trial delays have encouraged many to settle, but there will always be those who won’t seek resolution until they see the whites of the jurors’ eyes.” -Jackson, on how litigation is being affected by closed court rooms and Zoom mediations.
MO’ MONEY, MO’ PROBLEMS
Jackson says one problem that a few of Golden Bear’s cannabis insureds face is an inability to cash claims checks. Because federally insured banks won’t open accounts for these businesses and alternative banking solutions are expensive, a few insureds have asked that claims payments be issued in cash. While sympathetic, her answer is “no way,” for obvious accountability reasons. The SAFE Banking Act, she says, will solve this problem.
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
“If I’m not knee deep at work, then I’m knee deep in dirt.” -Jackson, discussing her love of gardening, which led to the creation of her lavender farm.