Former NBA Star John Salley Joins Insurance Pro Daron Phillips To Offer Cannabis Coverage

By Javier Hasse and Natán Ponieman.

Four-time NBA champion John Salley (and Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Council member) has made headlines in recent years for his multiple cannabis ventures.

Recently, the former Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers player told Benzinga he’s building a health insurance package for cannabis businesses and their employees, that will soon be expanded to cover individual cannabis users.

“We’ve literally got to a point where we can insure cannabis smokers and cannabis companies,” Salley said.

Building a Platform for Cannabis Users

Daron Phillips, Salley’s partner in the venture, told us how the two of them met about ten years ago in the Beverly Hilton. Since then, they've become good friends.

“John is about health, wellness and wealth,” said Phillips, an insurance business veteran who got first his insurance license at the age of 19.
See also: All-Star Trio: Isiah Thomas, John Salley And Al Harrington Want To Change The Cannabis Game

The idea for a cannabis insurance plan came as the two observed the penalties insurance companies were giving cannabis users.

“People were being punished for being THC or CBD users like they were smoking two packs of cigarettes a day,” he said.

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.

Any cannabis business in the country, depending on state requirements, with two or more employees can apply to receive insurance. This plan is also 20% cheaper than other insurance solutions of the sort, Phillips explained.

California businesses, for their special regulations, require at least 25 employees.

Insurance 'Is All About Numbers’

“I’m a numbers guy, and that’s all insurance is, it’s numbers,” said Phillips, who worked with a team of data analysts.

“We did the math on how many times they were hospitalized and their average age,” he continued.

With these facts into consideration, Phillips and Salley’s team came up with a healthcare plan specifically designed for cannabis businesses and their employees, that can cover up to 200,000 employees.

See also: Pistons 'Bad Boy' John Salley Talks 'The Last Dance' And His Relationship With Michael Jordan

For now, the venture is being offered through a third-party health care administrator, Medova Healthcare.

Next in line is offering coverage for individuals who chose to consume cannabis a part of their lifestyles. The venture is building plans for independent clients, who don’t belong to a cannabis company, but need to be insured without receiving penalties for using the plant.

“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.

Más sobre John Salley en Español en El Planteo.

Courtesy photo.

Posted In: CannabisNewsEntrepreneurshipSportsMarketsGeneralCannabis InsuranceJohn Salley

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