Insuring Your Rhode Island Dispensary


For new cannabis-related business (CRB) owners in Rhode Island, it’s an exciting time – welcome to the Green Nation! The state is rolling out licensing and dispensary openings, with five state-licensed cannabis compassion centers set to start selling recreational cannabis on or after December 1, 2022. For new business owners in the cannabis industry and cannabis ancillary businesses, there are a whole slew of new applications, licenses, and business decisions to make. Insuring your new canna-biz is a critical part of long-term success, and it can be complicated to understand what kind of coverage you need.

2022 Rhode Island Cannabis Dispensary Regulations

The new Rhode Island law will allow up to 33 retail licenses across six zones statewide. But these new licenses won’t be granted until 2023, when the governor  appoints a Cannabis Control Commission to oversee license applications for recreational-only dispensaries. That means that for the time being, Rhode Island cannabis consumers will be visiting medical dispensaries that are also licensed to sell recreationally. Which gives new dispensary applicants time to make sure they have what they need to open up show with confidence and compliance.


What Cannabis Business Licenses Are Available in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Office of Cannabis Regulation offers classes for licensing in four cannabis sectors.


  • Compassion Centers – Medical dispensaries (and eventually recreational dispensaries as well) that retail cannabis products, including but not limited to: whole flower, vape products, edibles, tinctures, topicals.
  • Cultivators – Cannabis agriculture, grow farms, and manufacturing companies that produce retail cannabis products, including lab testing, packaging and labeling.
  • Industrial Hemp Program – Industrial hemp growers, handlers and dual-grower/handlers to grow and/or manufacture hemp and hemp-derived products.
  • CBD Consumables – Cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of CBD (cannabidiol) products


What Kind of Insurance Will Your Rhode Island Cannabis Business Need?

Each of these cannabis industries has different requirements, and thus different needs in terms of insurance coverage. For example, cannabis/hemp cultivators will want cultivator policies that protect their crops against lightning, fire, explosion, hail, floods and smoke or water damage. Cultivators and growers may also require specific coverage for different stages of plant growth, such as living plant material, harvested plant material and finished stock. Dispensary owners, on the other hand, will be more focused on retail-oriented insurance, like general and product liability, landlord insurance for their retail sites, and protection from vandalism/burglary. In Rhode Island, cannabis retailers may also need additional hemp and CBD-specific coverage for production, transport, and sale of these specialized products.


In addition to general liability, new Rhode Island cannabis businesses will want to consider professional liability, cyber liability, business owners’ policies, and auto coverage, if they plan to expand to cannabis delivery services.


What Does Cannabis Business Insurance Cost in Rhode Island?

To estimate your cannabis business insurance costs, there are six key considerations:


  • The kind of coverage your business needs
  • Your business type (and its risks)
  • Your business location
  • Business size and operations
  • Type of commercial policies required for your business type
  • Premium limits


At present, there are no clearly defined, industry-specific  insurance requirements for cannabis businesses in Rhode Island. Which makes it critical to be proactive in insuring your cannabis business. While Rhode Island doesn’t have a minimum capital requirement, the cost of annual Rhode Island cannabis licenses is considerable. The annual licensing fee for Rhode Island dispensaries is $500,000, and for cultivation licenses, the range varies $5,000 – $80,000. That’s an investment worth protecting!

Find a Rhode Island Insurance Agent Who Understands Your Industry

When it comes to finding the right policies and coverage for your Rhode Island cannabis business, you don’t have to go it alone. Millers Insurance Group has the industry expertise you need to find the policies that fulfill Rhode Island’s requirements and meet the unique insurance needs of your business.


We’re proud to provide insurance solutions that fit any budget and provide the peace of mind you need to hit the ground running in Rhode Island. From seed to sale, our experts will make sure that your policies cover everything you need to protect, with the know-how to scale up as your business grows and expands.


Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our insurance experts. After we assess your needs, you’ll get a quote – and get your Rhode Island dispensary ready to rock in 2023 and beyond.






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