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Close your eyes – in your mind try to draw up your ideal image of a cannabis consuming adult.

How many of you saw your mother or your grandmother? Father or grandfather?

How long will it be until the image that has been imprinted in your brain of the hippie or burn out is replaced with an image of your parents or your grandparents?

Statistics say not too long at the current growth rate of cannabis use by folks who are 50+. This is for a wide variety of reasons – perhaps accessibility, increase in information, loss of stigma or the continued validation from the medical community for the treatment of some common ailments in aging people..

“ These new figures, which use data from 2015-2016, demonstrate a substantial increase in marijuana use over the past near-decade – double the percentage of adults aged 50-64 (4.5 percent) and more than seven times the percentage of adults 65 and older (0.4 percent) reporting use in 2006-2007.”

Source: NYU

Give the NYU article a read, it speaks a bit more in depth about reasons for use and past use of this age group.

more than 20 percent of marijuana users over age 65 said a doctor recommended they try the drug. Other research has shown that marijuana is particularly effective at treating chronic pain, which is particularly prevalent among the elderly. Several recent studies have found that Medicare prescriptions for opiate painkillers are lower in states with medical marijuana programs.” 

Source: Washington Post 

What does this mean to cannabis brands and advertisers? How will these products reach and relay their value prop to this audience relative to a 21+ audience in the same market? Will the call to action or reason for use be similar? I believe these are all items that will be answered through competition in the coming years as more states legalize cannabis and media supporting an honest view of the plant becomes more commonplace.

A big conversation we have with advertisers in this space is – WHO do you want to talk to and WHY is it important to them? As consumption continues to increase among the 50+ crowd, these brands will need to start separate efforts to these groups to manage those conversations separately.

Will an image of a beautiful girl pulling on a vape pen resonate with my mother?

How will advertisers relay the value of pain management qualities given most current advertising legislation requires brands to not allude to health benefits from consumption?

Will baby boomers prefer a home delivery service as opposed to standing in line at retail?

Will there be brands specifically set for a more senior client base?

These are some of the exciting conversations that lay ahead of the cannabis industry. Safe-Reach.com is excited to dig in with data with our advertiser partners.

Until next time –

Adam Schlett