Can an Employee for the Cannabis Industry File for Workers’ Compensation?

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An often misunderstood industry, legal cannabis employers are (generally) no different than regular employers. Cannabis industry employers remain subject to the same laws and regulations as other employers in California, including the requirement to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Employers should strongly consider protecting themselves from workplace injury to employees by purchasing workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers an employee’s medical claims and potential wage replacement from workplace injuries which arise out of the normal course of business. The question is, does this apply to the cannabis industry? The answer is yes! Then, why are so many cannabis businesses going without?

Cannabis and Coverage
While California legalized medicinal and adult use of cannabis, cannabis remains a federal Schedule 1 drug. For this reason, the cannabis industry finds itself in a legal gray zone, and some insurance providers refuse to provide coverage for workers’ compensation.

Rather than turn away from coverage, a cannabis business can seek out workers’ compensation from insurance companies specifically set up to work with the cannabis industry. Failing to purchasing workers’ compensation insurance could leave the employer open to greater liability, and jeopardize the success of the business if an employee falls ill or becomes injured because of the job.

Need more information?
ESKRIDGE LAW may be contacted by phone (310/303-3951), by fax (310/303-3952) or by email ( Please visit our website at

This article is based on the law as of the date posted at the top of the article. This article does not constitute the provision of legal advice, and does not by itself create an attorney-client relationship with Eskridge Law.