By Harris Damashek,
Chief Marketing Officer at Acreage Holdings
February 4, 2019

The green wave that’s driving cannabis legalization in the U.S. is being powered by an unexpected group: Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. The people born in the 36 years between 1928 and 1964 are providing strong demand for cannabis.

In fact, the cohort of people who will turn 55 or older in 2019 now represent one of the fastest-growing consumer segments in the industry. If you’re a Boomer, aged 55 to 64, you’re now more likely to consume cannabis than 12-17 year olds. Orders from Boomers on Eaze, the medical cannabis app, leapt 19 percent in 2017. And the Silent Generation is gathering steam: around 4 percent of seniors, aged 65 and older, now consume cannabis at least once per year, which is up from almost zero a decade ago.

This fledgling “mature market” has huge potential as a growing customer base. Around two-thirds of U.S. states have now legalized cannabis in some form and increasingly, companies will have to design products and market to an aging demographic.

A good place to start when thinking about seniors is to learn about how and why they want to consume cannabis. Most Boomers have at least a passing familiarity with cannabis. After all, this is the generation that gave us flower power, the Summer of Love and Woodstock. But these days, instead of looking for a mellow groove, they’re hoping cannabis can provide relief from the trials and tribulations of later life, such as arthritis, inflammation and chronic pain.

Senior consumers are also looking for natural alternatives to pharmaceutical products, especially opioids. Some may be using cannabis to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy. Others are turning to cannabis to combat depression and anxiety or hasten sleep, as well as enhance libido and creativity.

Image credit: DavorLovincic | Getty Images Seniors now make up one of the largest demographics for Cannabis consumption both in Arizona and the Untied States as a whole
Image credit: DavorLovincic | Getty Images Seniors now make up one of the largest demographics for Cannabis consumption both in Arizona and the Untied States as a whole

It’s also worth noting how the Boomers like their cannabis served. Like the general market, they’re mostly looking for alternative to smoking flower. But while vaping through pre-filled dosing pens is popular, seniors are just as likely to use cannabis pills and topicals to alleviate stiff joints and edibles to help them get a good night’s sleep.

That’s because these products tick a few boxes for this generation in terms of being low-dose, discreet and approachable. Users can microdose with candies that contain as little as three milligrams of THC or CBD. The effects are predictable and repeatable. They also seek out familiar and credible packaging. There’s an added bonus: if the product is being ingested or applied, older people won’t need any paraphernalia to administer their dose. This avoids an odor of cannabis in the house, and the risk of nosey judgmental neighbors.

A few more things worth noting about older cannabis consumers. As a group, they’re not short of disposable income now that many of them are empty-nesters — they’re among the highest monthly spenders on cannabis products. They’re relatively brand loyal too, so it’s worth trying to win their business from the get-go. A note to advertisers: this is a demographic where word of mouth is still the best recommendation.

Because of limited mobility and desire for discretion, they want their cannabis either delivered to their door or they want an easy way to get to a dispensary, hence the rise of several Boomer-friendly regular shuttle buses that ferry seniors straight from home to the store and back again.

It’s crucial that dispensaries make this generation feel comfortable once they’re at the store. This is a demographic that is intuitive, and they like learning about cannabis the good old-fashioned way — by talking face-to-face. But buying cannabis products can be an intimidating retail experience, particularly for those who have never set foot inside a dispensary. They might imagine cluttered speakeasies with burly bouncers on the door, and male budtenders in their twenties who aren’t quite on the same wavelength.

It’s important to make them feel welcomed and cared for. That can start at the design level by making sure dispensaries are open, clean and user-friendly. For example, my company’s chain of dispensaries called The Botanist is inspired by 19th Century laboratories, greenhouses and the study of botany. There are lush botanical walls, weathered wood, bell jars and each dispensary sponsors a program of educational and entertaining events, such as cannabis 101, cooking with cannabis, CBD-infused cocktail parties and so on. This helps Boomers enjoy an immersive experience in a safe, comfortable way.

It will take companies time before they find the best approach to marketing cannabis to Boomers. But the evidence suggests that will be time well-spent.

Original Article Sourced from

The information provided by Health for Life, its parents or affiliates (“we,” “us” or “our”) on (the “Site”), including this Blog, is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.  The views and opinions expressed in this Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily our official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. Assumptions made in the blogs are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s) – these views are always subject to change, revisions, and updates at any time. There is no obligation to purchase any product mentioned. The Site may contain (or you may be sent through the Site links to other websites or content belonging to or originating from third parties or links to websites and features in banners or other advertising. Such external links are not investigated, monitored, or checked for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness by us.  We do not warrant, endorse, guarantee, or assume responsibility for the accuracy or reliability of any information offered by third-party websites linked through the site or any website or feature linked in any banner or other advertising. We will not be a party to or in any way be responsible for monitoring any transaction between you and third-party providers of products or services.  The Site cannot and does not contain medical or health advice. The medical or health information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.  Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of medical or health advice. The use or reliance of any information contained on this site is solely at your own risk.


Check out our new promos

Skip to content