As medical and recreational marijuana use becomes legal in some states, many health club and gym owners are trying to figure out if cannabis-enhanced classes could be a growth opportunity.

An article in Club Industry explores how some yoga and fitness businesses are allowing members to consume their own marijuana before class, while others are offering their own organic edibles as part of the program.

While this can be a viable way to attract new clients, there are some legal and liability issues to think about. According to Jennifer Urmston-Lowe, national accounts manager at Sports & Fitness Insurance Corp. (SFIC), selling marijuana inside a health club or gym could present additional challenges for club operators. Obtaining coverage for retail marijuana sales is “very difficult,” she said in an interview for the Club Industry article.

The bottom line is that it is still too early for the major U.S. insurance companies to consider covering marijuana sales,” Urmston-Lowe said. “The major U.S. insurance companies have taken a firm stand not to insure the sales of marijuana and to continue to support drug testing for employee safety. Down the road, if the federal government was to legalize marijuana sales, and/or the legalized sales in the states are upheld in federal court, then the insurance companies would look at the court rulings and determine if and when they needed to develop a specialized insurance product similar to liquor liability policies that would provide coverage.”

Pending court cases are challenging whether states can legalize a substance that is illegal under federal law, and other pending cases focus on the legality of employee drug testing in the legalized states, Urmston-Lowe noted.

“Additionally, it would be difficult to obtain professional liability for nutritional counseling that would recommend the use of marijuana even in the states where recreational and/or medicinal use has been voted to be legal,” Urmston-Lowe said.

 To learn more about the risks and rewards of cannabis classes, click below to read the full Club Industry article, titled Marijuana: A New Frontier for Health Clubs?