A new dispensary opened in February 2020 in Berkeley, Calif., that focuses on providing cannabis for seniors. The owner, 72-year-old Sue Taylor, has been trying to get the dispensary opened for years but had to battle through the city approval process as well as construction and permit delays.
Now that it’s open, Farmacy Berkeley will cater to seniors. One entire wall is devoted to Taylor’s own brand of cannabis products – called Mama Sue (Taylor’s nickname) – that are made especially for those over 50. They focus on issues such as getting better sleep or pain relief, not getting high.
Taylor told Berkeleyside that seniors “don’t want to get high, they want to get well.”
Cannabis For Seniors
Taylor’s dispensary is one sign among many that cannabis for seniors is a growing trend. As Taylor noted, the focus is not on getting high, but rather on testing how CBD products and cannabis treat issues such as inflammation and insomnia.
Taylor also said that many, including her, see cannabis as an alternative to opioids in treating pain.
Recent research from Gallup shows that those 50 and older are slightly more likely than those between the ages of 30 and 49 to use marijuana. About 12% reported smoking marijuana.
And in 2019, a survey found that use of cannabis had increased tenfold among seniors since legalization began. Much of this involves the use of medical marijuana. According to numbers from that report, seniors were the fastest growing segment of cannabis users.
Out With the Old, In With the Dispensary
Another example of the cannabis for seniors trend comes from Placerville, California, where a longtime restaurant called Chuck’s closed in 2013 (it had been open 50 years). Now, the new owners plan to convert it into a dispensary. Like Taylor, they are aiming the dispensary’s products right at senior citizens.
Chuck’s Cannabis Collective will play music from the 1950’s and keep the diner ascetic that the restaurant had for five decades. The owners reached that decision after surveying the local market and finding that seniors had more interest in the dispensary than any other age group.
One of the main reasons: They currently must make a long drive to purchase marijuana.
And in yet another sign, a new book, “Cannabis For Seniors,” has been released by Dr. Beverly Potter. It reviews research on cannabis and provides details on how different strains work with different health conditions.
Potter writes: “What seniors are discovering is that cannabis, a once ill-perceived “street drug,” is emerging as an incredible asset to their overall health and wellness.”
As the country’s population continues to age, expect more dispensaries, books and other cannabis-related material to focus on the growing number of consumers in the 50-plus age group.