ALM launches cannabis insurance certification. Cannabis Insurance 101 identifies coverage needs and opportunities for companies serving cannabis-related businesses. (Photo: fizkes/Shutterstock)

Learning about the coverage needs of cannabis-touching businesses just became a little easier for the insurance industry with the launch of a new designation for agents, brokers, risk managers, underwriters and other professionals who advise these companies — the Cannabis Insurance Coverage Specialist (CICS).

Created by the National Underwriter Company, an ALM business, the CICS is designed to provide insurance professionals with a self-paced, online designation program that will help them master the constantly evolving world of the cannabis industry. As enterprises poised for explosive growth, understanding the risks, coverage issues and how they may differ from more traditional businesses is critical for advisers to cannabis-related companies.

Since the cannabis industry has many facets that continue to develop, ALM wanted to provide a learning experience that mirrors these changes.

“I think this course contains extremely up-to-date and valuable information while being far more accessible and less stodgy than a typical insurance-related training course,” explains Zachary Neiheisel, ALM’s course development manager.

Cannabis Insurance 101 is the first course in the designation program and is divided into six self-study modules. It features detailed content that provides an overview of the industry, discusses the physical effects of cannabis, highlights legislation across the country, details different areas of insurance coverage and focuses on other factors carriers, brokers, agents and claims adjusters should understand.

The CICS curriculum will also address topics such as risk management, real estate, product liability and claims, medical and health issues, as well as issues business and financial advisors should be monitoring for their clients in this industry.

“I’m excited to make this new cannabis course available to the public,” shares Janet Neiheisel, client relationship manager for the National Underwriter Company. “Not only because it’s a ‘hot’ topic that people are eager to learn more about in relation to the insurance industry, but because we’ve also added new features to this course to help the student learn, like podcasts, charts and electronic flashcards. Having that knowledge is a huge advantage because it gives professionals the confidence they need when speaking with clients.”

Cannabis Insurance 101 and the designation program are approved for continuing education credits in the following states: Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, and Washington. Approval is pending in California, Colorado, Nevada, New York, and Oregon, and more states will be added as appropriate. ALM is offering the course at an introductory price of $149.

For more details on the CICS designation and the Cannabis Insurance 101 course, visit