According to Scientific American, cannabis use has increased in adults between ages 50 to 64 by over 60% since 2006. More surprisingly, adults over the age of 65, cannabis use has increased by 250%. While it may be surprising to some that your parents may be puffing without you even knowing it, if your marijuana retail operation isn’t working hard to engage the over 55 crowd, you can be seriously missing out on some profit and clients. Here are some ways that your marijuana retail store can engage in some intentional strategies to engage the over 55 crowd and unlock business growth:
Focus in on Seniors’ Medical Needs
While there isn’t a full data set that can explain the uses for cannabis in older people across the board, data like that from Health Canada, representing a country that recently legalized cannabis, revealed that about 2/3 of medical marijuana patients in the country are using marijuana for arthritis and joint pain. This is a common ailment as people age. In addition to arthritis, pain-associated ailments are common in older people, including more complicated diseases like fibromyalgia, which is getting a lot more attention in the cannabis world as it proves an effective solution for many. Spanning the medical and emotional, cannabis has been looked at in great detail for the relief of PTSD, which is something that older generations, including veterans and individuals who have experienced other types of trauma, have been promoting widely in the cannabis movement. Do your research and be empathetic to older generations by acknowledging common ailments and conditions the over 55 crowd may commonly suffer from and design your marketing strategy, cannabis education, and in-store information to appeal to those individuals.
Appeal to the Social Needs of Seniors
One of the benefits of cannabis that is being lauded to the over 55 crowd is the social, emotional and mental effects that cannabis can have on the elder’s brain, with Scientific American revealing that cannabis can actually potentially reverse the aging process in the brain. Cannabis is known to improve mood and increase feelings of sociability, especially with Sativa-dominant strains. In addition, creativity can get stimulated in a brain through cannabis, perhaps unlocking new ideas for hobbies and interests as people adjust to new realities post-retirement. Use your in-store space to hold special events that bring together cannabis and social events, targeted for the over 55 crowd. Paint nights, community talks, or socials that get people together to learn about the newest products in cannabis dispensaries are a great way to bring new faces into your marijuana retail space.
Targeted Cannabis Education
With marijuana retail dispensaries noticing an increase in older generations using cannabis, both for medicinal and recreational reasons, it’s important, and responsible, to ensure that you’re providing cannabis education for your clients. Take a page from the book of Farmacy in British Columbia in Canada, who has taken its over 55 crowd seriously by rolling out a full cannabis education program targeted to seniors that is accessible online and in store. It’s important that people in the over 55 crowd know that cannabis potency has crept up dramatically in the last few decades; the stuff they got back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, likely won’t hold a candle to the materials they can purchase today. They need to be prepared for this and understand dosing and the effects of different strains. Chances are too, they’ll be wide-eyed when they see how far cannabis consumption technology and methods have come since the good ol’ days where it was usually only “grass” they could access. Cannabis education can take many forms from in-store speaking engagements to online resources, to having thoughtfully designed pamphlets, to the engagement that your budtenders have with the customer. Take every opportunity to ensure that your customer knows their stuff about cannabis, especially those who are trying it for the first time.
Appeal to Aesthetics
Farmacy, mentioned above, goes one step further in their strategy to engage the older crowd in their cannabis dispensary. By using a design that incorporates vintage photos and old apothecary style shelving and storage, it’s a space that is appealing to the demographic it aims to serve. They also fill the space with classic rock, which brings back good memories for those who lived through the music at the original time while inspiring new generations to enjoy classic rock in the throwback space. When you’re thinking about dispensary design, try to appeal to a broad audience, while placing special accents that will catch the eye of each type of customer.
Find the New Cannabis Consumer
The profile of the cannabis user is changing. It’s no longer about engaging stoners or people already involved in cannabis culture in your dispensary. The cannabis movement has expanded to include people of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities and political views, and there always new and innovative ways marijuana retail operations can engage niche audiences, such as the over 55 crowd.