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While marijuana is legal in nearly three-fourths of the country, marijuana users usually still see higher life insurance rates when buying a policy. Because marijuana use is still illegal federally, most life insurance companies still rate marijuana use as high risk.

However, marijuana users aren’t doomed to pay exorbitant rates for coverage. As the tide changes, some major national companies are becoming more 420-friendly and offering competitive rates to marijuana users. It’s important to shop around and compare rates, because some insurers might offer you competitive pricing, while others may charge you high premiums. 

Shopping around and speaking to multiple insurers is the best way to get the most affordable price for life insurance. And if you’re a marijuana user, it’s extra important to look for insurers that will offer you competitive pricing for your profile. 

How marijuana use impacts life insurance rates

If you use marijuana, medically or recreationally, the impact on your cost depends on your insurer. Some insurers will charge you smoker rates, while others may offer you the most competitive rates. There are also insurers who stand somewhere in the middle, and will determine how much you pay based on:

  • Whether you use marijuana recreationally or for medical reasons
  • How you consume marijuana (for example, from vaping, edibles or smoking)
  • How often you use marijuana

But even if you work with an insurer who offers marijuana users competitive premiums, if you’re using marijuana for medical purposes, the health condition you use it for may also impact your rates. 

“Insurance companies may consider medical conditions and medications, including medical marijuana, and may classify users as higher risk, resulting in higher premiums,” says Andrew Lokenauth, adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco.

Insurance companies consider your health when determining how much you pay for coverage, and some medical conditions may increase your rates or disqualify you from getting coverage altogether. Similarly, insurers will consider what other prescriptions you use and why. 

What to expect when applying for life insurance

To get life insurance, you have to go through the underwriting process, which generally consists of a medical exam. Insurance companies will take urine and blood samples during the medical exam, which will show if there is THC in your system. THC can remain present in urine samples for up to 30 days. 

You can skip the medical exam with a no-medical-exam policy, which won’t require you to submit any blood or urine samples. These policies still ask if you have used marijuana, however, and you shouldn’t lie about any use. If an insurance company finds out that you’ve lied, they can cancel your policy, deny your beneficiaries the death benefit, and also make notes of fraud on your insurance record, which other companies can see and later use to reject an application.

What workers in the cannabis industry should expect

The cannabis industry in the U.S. continues to grow each year and now employs more than 400,000 Americans. 

But unfortunately, if you work in the cannabis industry, most insurance companies will reject your life insurance application, regardless of where you live and work. While marijuana is legal on some level in a majority of the U.S., it is not legal federally, which prevents most insurers from offering policies to workers in the cannabis industry — anyone in any illegal occupation will see their application denied. 

However, cannabis industry workers still have options. See if your employer offers group life coverage or if a smaller, regional company will offer you coverage. Additionally, as federal regulations change, cannabis industry workers may see more available options. 

How marijuana use affects active life insurance policies

If you already have an active life insurance policy and start to smoke marijuana, your insurance company cannot cancel your policy or increase your rates. As long as you were completely honest about your marijuana use when you applied for a policy, smoking marijuana after you have an active policy will not impact your rates.

What about CBD?

Because CBD does not have any THC content, it does not impact your life insurance rates. Some CBD products do have THC in them, which is federally legal under THC content of .3. As long as you are consuming CBD within those limits, your life insurance application should not be affected.

While marijuana use can affect your life insurance premiums, it doesn’t have to. Make sure to look for insurers that are lenient toward marijuana users and shop for the most competitive rate.


The Norml. “Report: Legal Marijuana Industry Employs Over 428,000 Full-Time Workers.” Accessed October 2022.

Frequently asked questions

How much more expensive is life insurance for marijuana users?

Your life insurance rates depend on more than just your marijuana use. Insurers also look at your overall health and age. If you only use marijuana occasionally and are healthy, you should be able to get competitive rates, but you’ll need to shop around. 

How do life insurance companies know if I smoke marijuana?

The insurance company will ask you about your smoking habits during the application process. Some may also require a medical exam, which will test for THC. Even if the insurance company doesn’t test for marijuana use, you shouldn’t lie because it can invalidate your policy.

Can insurers cancel your policy if you lie about your marijuana use?

Lying about marijuana use or any lifestyle choice on your life insurance application is considered insurance fraud. If you lie, your application may be rejected or your policy may be canceled later on.

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