Best's Review



Editor's Desk
Changes Ahead

From the Editor’s Desk: A legal marijuana industry emerges, but state and federal laws put insurers and risk managers in a bind. April’s issue also examines a peer-reviewed study that tested active shooter responses.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • April 2019
  • print this page

Changes to state laws have helped to create a new legal marijuana market, resulting in businesses large and small that are in need of insurance. Sales of legal marijuana reached $8 billion in 2017 and are projected to hit $22 billion by 2022.

Even so, insurers have been cautious about rushing into this market because marijuana remains illegal under federal law. But insurers have good reason to pay close attention as federal legalization efforts continue.

In “Growth Industry,” Best's Review looks at the issue of marijuana, the emerging business risks and what it means for insurers and risk managers. In “A Green Shift,” Bests' Review examines U.S. life insurers' attitudes toward marijuana. As more states legalize marijuana and it continues to gain mainstream acceptance, the life insurance industry is slowly evolving to cover the needs of recreational and medical users.

The April issue of Best's Review also examines responses to active shooter incidents, particularly in schools. Incidents such as the shootings at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School raise serious questions about the best way to minimize casualties.

One approach calls for the traditional lockdown of the building and for people to take shelter, hiding in closets or under desks, out of the line of sight of a possible shooter. A multi-option approach teaches people to react by barricading, distracting and swarming the shooter or escaping the scene.

A peer-reviewed study published in December in the Journal of School Violence tested the two approaches using simulations of school-shooting incidents. The results were compelling.

In “Studying Options,” the authors of the study, One Size Does Not Fit All: Traditional Lockdown Versus Multi-Option Responses to School Shootings, explain how they conducted their study and what they learned.

In “In Support of Lockdown,” an advocate of the lockdown approach raises his concerns about the study and explains why he believes lockdown is the safer approach for schools.

A third article, “No Easy Answers,” offers the view of another school safety expert, who is an advocate for traditional lockdowns, scenario-based training and school staff being physically resistant in certain situations.

New and evolving risks, from marijuana business exposures to the response to active shooter threats, are just a few of the issues that risk managers and insurers need to manage in today's world. In “Wish List,” Best's Review shares feedback from risk managers about what they are looking for from their insurers. Insurers will have an opportunity to meet with risk managers in Boston later this month at the annual RIMS conference. April is Risk Management Awareness Month and AMBest TV will provide extensive coverage of the RIMS conference, including interviews with senior industry executives.

All of these features can be found online in a reader-friendly version of Best's Review. Go to to read and share these articles and other Best's Review content.

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

Back to Home