Historically, older Americans have been the most skeptical demographic regarding cannabis legalization. While younger voters are still more likely to support ending prohibition, the times they are a-changin’ as senior citizens are more likely than ever to support legal cannabis and use the substance medicinally. A couple of senior citizens clubs in California are living examples to the phenomenon, as Abbie Rosner covered for Forbes:
Rossmoor’s Medical Marijuana Education and Support Club is one of the community’s most popular activities, with an email list of over 1000 names testifying to the locals’ voracious appetite for learning about cannabis. From Rossmoor and the surrounding towns, inquisitive seniors crowd the clubhouse twice a month to hear guest lecturers: cannabis researchers, professional practitioners, activists and industry representatives, who share their knowledge and practical insights.
Rossmoor’s Medical Marijuana Club is the second largest of its kind in the state, following on a similar club at the Southern California retirement community of Laguna Woods. Considering that California is at the vanguard for most things cannabis, the Rossmoor club might actually be the second largest medical marijuana club for seniors in the country, or in the world for that matter. But what I find most remarkable about these clubs is the model they present of a community that is proactively educating itself about medical marijuana, at a time when accurate and unbiased information is so hard to find.
Politically, the Rossmoor cannabis community has proven itself a force to be reckoned with. Rossmoor is located in the highly conservative Contra Costa County, which is notoriously inhospitable to cannabis commerce. But when legislation was recently being considered that would make it more difficult for Rossmoor residents to get their medicine (there are no nearby dispensaries, forcing residents to rely mainly on deliveries from dispensaries in Oakland and other proximate locations), the club members packed the city council meetings to make their voices heard. As one resident explained, “We wanted them to see who the dangerous drug fiends they were so afraid of actually are.”
As Rosner’s piece makes clear, cannabis can be beneficial for senior citizens, and support from older Americans can be crucial for the cannabis community and industry. Folks sixty-five and older vote in so much greater numbers and they aren’t shy about voicing their opinions to legislators or at city council meetings. As the cannabis industry emerges, and more states look to legalize cannabis, let’s remember to continue outreaching to senior citizens for the betterment for all.
Learn the latest about the cannabis industry at the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco this February 7-8. Don’t miss the opportunity to network with top investors and entrepreneurs in California and around the world by securing discounted early-bird tickets by January 18th. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be heading to Barcelona, Berlin, Zurich, and Vancouver throughout 2019. Early-bird tickets for all events are on sale now, so don’t delay!