Membership Spotlight – Aaron Cohen

January 14, 2021

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The key to any association is the people that make up the network. From lawyers and banking professionals, to commercial cannabis business owners and all who fall in between, we are proud of the diverse and expanding network of professionals and experts who are our members. To show our appreciation for the exceptional individuals in our community, we are highlighting Aaron Cohen this week. Please reach out and connect with him here

Aaron is a risk advisor and insurance broker with a specialty in cannabis, CBD, and hemp, and is the California industry practice leader at IOA Insurance Services. He works with industry operators and ancillary service providers taking a multi-faceted approach to risk management. Aaron is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied architecture.  

Aaron never considered going into insurance growing up, but when a family friend introduced him to the industry, he immediately took interest. He felt drawn to the challenge of problem solving, especially in the commercial cannabis industry and getting to work in a rapidly evolving industry. Aaron picked the cannabis industry as a specialty because he’s been a longtime believer in the industry — seeing how the plant can positively impact peoples’ quality of life. At IOA Insurance Services, Aaron takes a unique approach with his clients. He evaluates their insurance program structure, in/efficiencies, contractual liabilities, safety programs, uninsurable risks, and supply chain management, allowing him to implement a custom-tailored program to fit their needs and create sustainable growth as an organization. IOA Insurance Services is the 13th largest independent insurance brokerage with a national cannabis, CBD, and hemp practice working with multi/single-state and vertically integrated operators throughout the supply chain. To say the least, IOA Insurance Services is fortunate to have Aaron as a part of its team.  

Aaron first heard about the Association of Certified Commercial Cannabis Experts through his colleague, Peter Su (see Peter’s spotlight blog here), and is currently studying to become an ACCCE Certified Commercial Cannabis Expert (CCCE).  “ACCCE brings together a wide array of cannabis professionals and service providers across disciplines to allow me to understand other potential areas of risk outside my immediate field.” Because cannabis operators are presented with unique risks due to the nature of the industry, Aaron believes that in order for them to achieve sustainable growth, they must identify, mitigate, and transfer risk efficiently and effectively. Aaron leverages ACCCE for learning and implementing best practices in other disciplines to better educate his clients and partners in the commercial cannabis industry.  

Though Aaron is a Los Angeles native, he and his partner have been able to relocate to San Diego to quarantine and work remotely. Aaron is a fan of traveling; Ireland is his favorite place to visit and he can’t wait to get back to post-COVID. In his free time, Aaron loves to experiment in the kitchen, listen to podcasts, and watch his LA teams, the Lakers and Rams, play. Because they’ve had more downtime in quarantine, Aaron and his partner fill their time with movies, books, and app-based yoga. However, to wind down after a long day, Aaron usually puts on an episode of The Office.  

We are proud to have an esteemed member like Aaron Cohen in our network. As our community continues to grow, we find it important to thank our members for their commitment to professionalizing the commercial cannabis industry. Thank you, Aaron, for being such an important part of the cannabis community. Together, we are a part of something great.