Recently I was at a local restaurant and happened to overhear a couple talking about local Senior Communities weekly field trips to dispensaries. What? Yes, that’s right, along with outings to concerts, parks and shopping malls, various senior communities are offering weekly “field trips” to local dispensaries so Grandma can buy weed. According to various reports, Americans age 50 to 60 and older are a remarkable 20 times more likely to use marijuana today than seniors 20 years ago. In fact, current studies show that seniors are the largest growing demographic of cannabis users.
Generally speaking there are two major groups of seniors that are turning to cannabis. The first group have never tried marijuana and are drawn to its alleged health benefits since its become legal. The second group are baby boomers who used weed in the sixties and seventies, giving it up when they became focused on careers or raising kids. In the U.S. ten thousand people turn sixty-five each day, according to the Pew Research Center, and more and more are trying the drug for their health and well-being. Even conservative politicians are warming to the idea. John Boehner, the sixty-eight-year-old former Speaker of the House, who in 2011 said he was “unalterably opposed” to the legalization of marijuana, recently made news by announcing that he was joining the board of Acreage Holdings, which distributes cannabis across eleven states. His “thinking on cannabis” had “evolved,” he tweeted.
Many are exploring cannabis as an alternative to some of the prescriptions they currently take as well as over the counter drugs such as pain killers, sleep aids and antacids. Most seniors in the U.S. are on multiple medications and are becoming more educated about the long term negative side affects.
Some studies have shown that cannabis for all ages can improve quality of life by strengthening friendships and family relationships. We already know from several research studies that stronger relationships are a positive for both quality of life and longer life expectancy. For seniors these connections can go a long way in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
If you are in the cannabis industry including seniors in your marketing plan isn’t just smart, it could mean a big boost to your bottom line!