Over 65 and Craving Cannabis – A Look at a Huge Marketing Opportunity

The U.S. now has more than 45 million people over the age of 65, and that number is growing annually. By the nature of its size and the psychographic variation in the people within this older age group, it is a population that should not be ignored by marketers.  In states such as California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington where cannabis is legal, this is a particularly interesting population.

Of major concern to the over 65 population is health and wellness.  This is a group that can no longer be blasé about the impact that health has on them.  But like any other population group, not all people over 65 think alike or treat their health in the same way.  After years of innovations in the pharmaceutical industry, great medical advances, and conveniences in everything in the lives of Americans, there is a large group of 65+ citizens who are turning to alternative health care practices.  For businesses with the right mindset, this signals a tremendous opportunity.

Many baby boomers who are now seniors grew up in an era of illegal marijuana use, and they understand the impact they felt from smoking marijuana in their 20’s. The use of cannabis that contains both CBD and THC for anxiety and sleep disorders is not a surprise to this group.  But CBD as a tincture, cream or oil is a new substance for most of the seniors.  It has shown to have benefits for pain, sleep, memory and energy balance.  There is a great amount of research today that will make this a mainstream substance in the future.

Marketing CBD to seniors is a challenge for many product manufacturers as well as retailers.  Messaging for health benefits is not about getting high, about legal versus illegal, or about controlled substances. The messaging needs to focus on the potential health benefits, the lack of side effects, the safety of using CBD and the ease of use.  Marketing communication at its best is an educational communication, and that is exactly how marketing CBD to seniors should be approached.

These are interesting times.  CBD may not be for all seniors, but neither is Coca-Cola for all thirsty people.  Don’t be afraid to get your message to a broad segment of the senior demographic.  Some will accept your offering, and others will reject it.  Working on the messaging to have it resonate with seniors is important, so give it some thought and some expertise on the where the hearts and minds of these seniors are. And then seize the opportunity while it’s still something new and exciting!

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