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More ‘Boomers’ Using Marijuana For First Time Since Legalization

The legalization of cannabis in Canada has led to many Canadians recently trying pot for the first time. Moreover, the legal storefront experience has seemingly made boomers and seniors warm up to the idea of returning to marijuana. While the youth demographic still leads the way in marijuana use, experts have been surprised by the number of older Canadians consuming marijuana.

More Boomers And Seniors Trying Marijuana For The First Time

According to StatsCan’s National Cannabis Survey, more Canadians aged 45 or older are trying marijuana for the first time. Of approximately 646,000 Canadians who tried cannabis for the first time in the first quarter of 2019, nearly 332,000 of them were over the age of 45. This represents a significant increase in usage from the first year of legalization. Whereas only 9% of Canadians who tried cannabis for the first time last year were over 45, that number jumped to 14% this year. Experts believe that these numbers represent a statistical trend, rather than an anomaly. As this demographic becomes more comfortable with legal marijuana, these numbers are expected to continue rising. Additionally, many Canadians 45 and over who have previously tried marijuana in the past are being lured back to cannabis by legalization. The storefront marijuana model is providing older Canadians with a safe and secure way of buying cannabis. Moreover, their spending power means that they are more likely to be able to afford pricier legal weed.

The Role of Medical Marijuana

Many older Canadians are consuming marijuana for medical reasons. The recent advances in medical marijuana research, as well as the public’s willingness to accept it as a legitimate medical treatment, has made Canadians more comfortable with the idea of medicating with cannabis. With old age comes the potential for a litany of chronic medical issues. According to a 2015 Statistics Canada survey, over 200,000 Canadians used medical marijuana to treat arthritis, a condition that primarily affects seniors. As the senior demographic becomes more comfortable with marijuana, more of them are expected to turn towards medical marijuana.

A More Complex Market

Boomers and seniors making the return to marijuana may be surprised by the complexity of modern cannabis. Not only are there more products available than ever before, but thanks to modern growing techniques, today’s flower buds are much more potent than those produced in the 60s and 70s. As such, many seniors may be overwhelmed by the choices available to them. However, some are embracing the freedom. A market loaded with an array of cannabis products such as oils, capsules, edibles, distillates, and even infused beverages, gives consumers more choice and flexibility. This is especially important for older Canadians who may be more hesitant to smoke or vaporize, or who may have health conditions preventing them from doing so. As such, many boomers and seniors returning to the cannabis market may be pleased to find an array of products with both recreational and medical potential.

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