Canada’s licensed outdoor cannabis cultivation space has increased from 19.9 million square feet at the start of 2020 to 59 million square feet since Health Canada’s latest report in August.
Outdoor growing is an attractive option for cannabis businesses since the operating and start-up costs are typically lower than growing in greenhouses or indoor warehouses. Although licensed outdoor cultivators are exposed to a number of risks, including weather, pests, inconsistent light, and security issues.
Some of these elements can reduce the overall harvest or diminish flower quality. But with the legalization of Cannabis 2.0 in Canada, outdoor plants may be processed to extract oils and cannabinoids to be used in beverages, edibles, vapes, or topical products.
Weather-related exposures are inevitable in Canada. With long and harsh winters, growing outdoors can be more unpredictable than indoor cultivation. Indoor growers have more control over their crops due to the ability to manage light, humidity and temperature.
These challenges can make it difficult for outdoor cultivators to find insurance, but there are still some options available. A clear understanding of the value and risk involved in outdoor cannabis cultivation will be needed in order to place coverage.
Currently, it is difficult or impossible to find crop coverage for the plants while they are actually growing in the field. Despite that challenge, coverage for most other facets of the operation, including Building/Equipment, the finished Cannabis Stock, Commercial General Liability, Product Recall, Cargo / Transportation, Directors & Officers and other standard cannabis insurance coverages are all available to outdoor growers.
Outdoor growers do face one key insurance challenge that indoor growers don’t: the fact that due to winter conditions most outdoor growers get one (or maybe two) harvests a year. This means that after harvest there is significant inventory sitting in storage awaiting final processing or shipment. Underinsuring these critical values (for both property & business interruption) can lead to a year’s worth of disaster if the limits are not correctly calculated.
In order to avoid these risks, it is important to work with a broker who specializes in the cannabis industry and can provide the right coverage for outdoor cultivators. Call Fuse Insurance today to obtain a cannabis insurance quote or to review your current coverage package to make sure there’s no missed exposure. Contact us at 1-866-387-FUSE (3873) or visit our cannabis page.
Read more: How is COVID-19 impacting Canada’s cannabis industry?
Read more: What you should know about cannabis excise stamps