Lloyd's of London allows underwriters to insure cannabis in Canada

FILE PHOTO - People walk outside Lloyds of London's headquarters in the City of London, Britain, July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Insurance market Lloyd’s of London will allow its member firms to underwrite cannabis-related business in Canada, provided they meet local and international laws, it said on Thursday.

Recreational sales are set to begin Oct. 17 across Canada, making it the only Group of Seven nation to legalise marijuana.

Lloyd’s specialises in complex insurance risks, from offshore oil rigs to footballers’ legs.

Lloyd’s said in a notice to its 80-plus syndicate members that after taking legal advice, it was satisfied that providing insurance for cannabis in Canada would not breach the UK Proceeds of Crime Act.

“It is important that managing agents ensure that any cannabis risks have Canadian risk location only,” the notice said.

A Lloyd’s spokesman said by email that Lloyd’s “does not intend to prohibit syndicates...from underwriting cannabis- related business in Canada, provided that syndicates themselves ensure all of their activities meet local and international laws”.

Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Maiya Keidan and Kirsten Donovan