Baby Boomers in the Cannabis Industry

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016



And What You May Not Know

By Drew White

The baby boomer generation has witnessed a great deal of change in their lifetimes, and the legalization of marijuana is undoubtedly one of the biggest they’ve seen. Baby boomers watched marijuana go from something completely vilified, to something relegated to the counter culture, to now something that is rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance and, in some places, no longer in violation of the law.

While baby boomers have borne witness to a number of studies and polls about how their demographic differs from later generations, there’s one particular segment of the baby boomer generation that isn’t paid much attention to: those participating in the cannabis space, be it as consumers or as industry participants. I’ve asked baby boomers in the cannabis industry to share insights into their unique positions that others might not know about, and here’s what they had to say:


According to Matt Mills, COO of Med-X, “As someone who is 51 that consumes cannabis for pain management, I will tell you that my peer group and myself do not enjoy the potency of most cannabis that’s available to us. Unless we are headed to bed, it’s just too darn strong. Being able to only take one or two puffs doesn’t allow us to absorb enough CBD to do the job.”

This is a component of medical cannabis relief that requires a great deal of thought- the balance between THC, the main psychoactive component of marijuana, and CBD, the main non-psychoactive component credited for providing medical relief. While most recreational users won’t care about the CBD-potency of marijuana, many baby boomers using cannabis as medicine need to consume their medication in low doses of THC, which isn’t always possible.


While some baby boomers are ready to jump into retirement, a sizeable percentage of the generation is still looking for work, many of whom are unable to find reasonable opportunities for employment. Thankfully, the cannabis industry is one rife with openings for boomer-friendly jobs. According to Brett Roper, Founder and COO of Medicine Man Technologies, “Many of us have reached a point in our careers where we are looking to invest both experience and/or dollars to participate in something new and exhilarating…there is also a growing opportunity for entry into this space, either through employment or investment opportunities, where we can contribute significantly to this nascent space in terms of our experience or knowledge base.”

While it’s clear that there’s a number of boomers that can serve as motivated workers in the cannabis space, it’s important to note that their unique experiences can dramatically improve the intellectual capital of any companies that they choose to work with. Beyond a steady supply of demand, there’s a great deal that baby boomers have to offer to the industry.


While the stereotype of the average cannabis consumer being a 17-year old high school senior wearing tie-dye shirts and hanging up Bob Marley posters above his twin-size bed is no longer held by the majority of the informed public, there exist a number of misconceptions about who is and isn’t consuming cannabis, especially amongst baby boomers. According to David Paleschuck, VP of Licensing and Brand Partnerships at Dope Magazine, “You never know who consumes cannabis and who doesn’t. With so many ways of consuming it, even smoking is an outdated stereotype.”
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