California cannabis grower gets $1 million insurance settlement for fire damage

Women, minority execs show few gains in U.S. cannabis industry, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.


A cannabis grower in Carpinteria, California, has received a $1 million payout from an insurance company after his crop was destroyed by ashes from a wildfire.

According to the Santa Barbara Independent, Florida-based Brown & Brown Insurance secured the payout for the unidentified grower after the Thomas Fire sent tiny ash particles into greenhouses with retractable roofs and damaged thousands of plants.

The insurance, a rarity in the cannabis industry, was put in place months before the fire and included a provision for “change in atmospheric conditions,” the newspaper reported.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The cannabis that was damaged by the ash tested positive for lead, asbestos, arsenic and magnesium.
  • California was hit hard by wildfires, particularly in the northern region, last year, and the majority of the growers in that area were uninsured.
  • Most insurance companies won’t cover marijuana operations because it’s illegal on a federal basis.
  • Brown & Brown insured about 20 cannabis clients near Carpinteria and Lompoc, according to the Independent, and expects to deliver about $8 million in payments for those businesses.
  • The growers were paying $30,000 in premiums for the insurance with a $25,000 deductible.
  • The large payout prompted Brown & Brown to drop cannabis growers from its coverage, the newspaper reported. Brown & Brown has a global reach, with offices in the United States, Bermuda, Ontario, Canada and the United Kingdom.