Fed Fears Force Hawaii Insurer to Drop Clients at Last Second
According to an Associated Press story reported in Marijuana Business Daily, "Hawaii’s largest workers’ compensation insurer is canceling insurance policies for seven medical marijuana dispensaries preparing to open this summer."
The Hawaii Employers’ Mutual Insurance Co. (HEMIC) decided it was concerned over criminal liability since cannabis is illegal at the federal level. "...Its board of directors unanimously agreed to the decision after two independent legal opinions determined HEMIC would have “potential exposure for criminal liability” based on federal law."
So HEMC notified the seven dispensaries this week that their policies will be canceled in 30 days and premiums refunded, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Cannabis has been illegal at the federal level since the 1970's, and arguably since the 1930's. Recent federal maneuvering including The Cole Memo and the Rohrbacher-Farr Amendment have clouded the issue of whether a state can make its own laws ("states rights") without federal interference. Few companies want to get into the crosshairs of that battle.
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