Most health insurance plans don’t cover cannabis-based treatments, and many plans penalize members for being cannabis users in the first place. But a new plan is in the works that may be able to change all that.
The architects of the Cannabis Plan are NBA champion John Salley and his business partner Daron Phillips. Four-time NBA champion John Salley has made headlines in recent years for his multiple cannabis ventures.
Salley has been involved in multiple cannabis ventures over the past several years, from educating people about the importance of making sure they get clean cannabis to providing an organic brand that offered transparency about what was going into every product. That brand, called Deuces22, targeted those individuals committed to incorporating cannabis into a healthy lifestyle.
“We’ve literally got to a point where we can insure cannabis smokers and cannabis companies,” Salley said.
Their plan will roll out with an offering of health insurance policies for cannabis businesses to offer to their employees. Currently, business insurance options for cannabis companies exist, but they are extremely limited. Salley’s plan would be the first health insurance policy to be offered within the cannabis industry.
And he hopes to take things further. The ultimate goal for the Cannabis Plan is to be able to insure individual users, to make certain that they are not penalized for their cannabis use by their insurance carriers, and perhaps, in the long term, to offer insurance coverage for cannabis-based health solutions as well.
“People were being punished for being THC or CBD users like they were smoking two packs of cigarettes a day,” said Phillips, an insurance business veteran who got first his insurance license at the age of 19.
Along with National Insurance Partners and other partners, the duo launched “The Cannabis Plan.” It’s an insurance plan specifically designed for anything that touches the industry: growers, labs and CBD. Even convenience stores that sell CBD are eligible for this.
The plan also makes sure that users who choose to self-medicate with THC don’t receive punishment by their brokers.
“Individuals that are worried about their health insurance going up or not even covering them because they use THC, we’re going to eliminate that,” Phillips said.
The insurance plan debuts just as the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to have a generalized effect on mental health. This will likely raise the need for mental health coverage, and those who use cannabis as a treatment are expected to make up a growing client base for the venture.
“We just don’t want people to feel like they have to give up on their insurance because they choose to medicinally treat themselves,” concluded Phillips.
Many people have had their overall health enhanced by cannabis-based solutions, and to punish them by making them bear the financial burden for that is unfair.
This plan is yet another sign that we as a society are moving in the right direction when it comes to medical cannabis.