Behind The Curtain 21: Covering The Crop

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Joe woke up to the alarm sounding off in the distance.

“Four in the morning,” Marcy said, jumping out of bed.

“It’s the barn,” Joe said, grabbing his pants and boots.

By the time they arrived the damage was done. The new alarm system notified the police who showed up seconds later.

“That was quick,” Joe said to the officer getting out of his car.

“Looks like the bad guys were quicker,” the officer said inspecting a large hole in the side of the barn.

The vandals had driven a farm truck through the barn wall. It looked like a crow-bar was taken to the vault room, but they couldn’t budge it. The grow room, however, was a mess.

“It’s legit, 215,” Joe said to the officer, trying to appease his surprise. “We have insurance.”

“You have insurance for your grow room?” the officer said, even more surprised.

“Yeah, it’s a new thing this year,” Joe replied. “Looks like we got it just in time, huh?”

“They left the plants – a month from harvest, go figure,” Marcy said under her breath. “All the equipment’s gone,” she yelled.

Ninety-nine soon to be harvested plants in full bud lay smashed on the floor.

“What’s the value of the equipment in here?” the officer asked, stepping into the room within the barn.

“Around fifty thousand,” Joe said. “That includes lights and the watering system. We have an inventory list, per the insurance company – everything should be covered.”

“You have inventory inside that vault?” the officer asked.

“Yeah, the insurance company advised us to install that metal door. A video camera, watering system in case of fire, inventory lists – even the cycle of the plants are recorded. See how close we are to harvest?” Joe said, holding up a branch heavy with furry, purple buds. “The clones aren’t covered – that was our choice. But, these are because they are near market-time when we have the most to lose and no time to recoup this crop.”

“Man, you have a real business here.” the officer said, scratching his head.

“Well yeah, man,” this is our subsidy so we can ranch, you know?” Joe responded, intent on enlightening this man. “You know my dad up the road, you know my grandfather and his dad before him homesteaded this land. You think I can keep this going the way ranching is today? This crop insures our life as we know it on this ranch.”

“You guys going to be alright with this today, you want some help?” the officer said, softening.

“If all my paperwork is in order, which I think it is, we should be up and running again within 45 days – but, thank you for offering. We appreciate it,” Marcy said, putting her cell phone in its holster.

“That was our personal carrier. It seems there was an exclusion for any growing of marijuana on the property,” she said.

“Where does it say that in the policy?” Joe asked, dismayed.

“The claims department said it was under health hazards, and that growing or selling medical marijuana falls under what they called this ‘exclusion,’” she said.

“I hear that all the time. No one wants to tell their landlord, their insurance carrier, no one. How can anyone run a business like that? And you are a legal 215 – posted right there,” the officer said, pointing to the wall. “Well, I give you an “E” for effort,” he said, walking toward his patrol car to leave. “If you guys need help, let me know. I can have a whole posse here in an hour. Keep up the good work.”

For more on Joe and Marcy in Ferndale, see Behind the Curtain No. 6

Note: The information gathered came from an actual case settlement from Statewide Insurance Services, the only carrier covering legal 215 medical marijuana grows in the country. It’s important to note that only detached grow rooms are covered, not those inside a dwelling or other mixed-use building.

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