The Marijuana and Life Insurance Connection

Here in the great state of Washington, we have recently experienced a cultural and legal phenomenon wherein marijuana has been made legal for both recreational and medical use. Regardless of whether or not you use cannabis, it is prudent to know how life insurance companies look at cannabis usage and how it may affect your premiums.

If someone is a recreational user of cannabis, the rate someone pays depends on their usage. Typically, in the past insurance companies treat marijuana use similarly to the way tobacco usage is classed. As such, the proposed insured are generally looking at tobacco ratings for marijuana use, however there are some companies which will offer you non-smoker or preferred rates for marijuana usage depending on your usage on a monthly or yearly basis. 

If someone undergoes a free paramedical exam for a life insurance company, typically the screening will include a urine panel that tests for cotinine (natural byproduct of nicotine), THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, and other drug byproducts. The purpose of the urine test is to determine whether or not the proposed insured has these compounds in their system, however if you admit to marijuana use and THC is not found in your urine, one can still be eligible for better rates. Therefore, if you can abstain from marijuana usage for some time before your exam, you can still declare as a marijuana user and be eligible for quite good rates from some companies. 

That being said, depending on your usage, some companies will outright deny you coverage if you use marijuana more than a certain amount, such as more than twice per week. 

There’s also the stipulation of medical marijuana usage, which is generally not classified the same way as recreational usage. Rates for medical marijuana patients will typically depend on the underlying health condition that qualifies someone to be eligible for medical marijuana authorization which is commonly referred to as “medical marijuana card”. Common debilitating medical conditions severe enough to significantly interfere with the patient’s activities of daily living and ability to function, which can be objectively assessed and evaluated and limited to the following:

  • Cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or spasticity disorders.
  • Intractable pain, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean pain unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications.
  • Glaucoma, either acute or chronic, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean increased intra-ocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments and medications.
  • Crohn’s disease with debilitating symptoms unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
  • Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
  • Diseases, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
  • Chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Traumatic brain injury.

If you are an employee in the marijuana industry, getting life insurance can get even more complicated. The reason for this is that only certain companies will insure individuals who work in the marijuana industry, as cannabis sales, processing, and consumption is still illegal on the federal level despite state regulations. That being said, there are few companies we work with that still do offer good policies for marijuana industry employees.

In short, marijuana usage is no reason to balk on getting insured, as life insurance is one of the most important products you can acquire as a means of safeguarding your financial future. If you’re a marijuana user, recreational or medical, and you’re ready to work with one of our agents on getting insured, we’re ready to help you get the best rate possible here at Pacific Insurance Group based out of Bellevue Washington. To contact us, you can get a free quote on our website at www.pacificinsurancegroup.com or call us at (425)-246-4222 to speak with one of our knowledgeable agents. We can’t wait to have you join the family, and we hope you choose us to help you get insured.