For decades people were inundated with anti-cannabis propaganda all over the planet. That unfortunate phenomena still exists in many parts of the world, however, an increasing number of countries are choosing to reform their cannabis laws.
Canada is one of those countries, having been home to a large medical cannabis community for a while now and having become the first G-7 nation to legalize cannabis for adult-use last year. Uruguay legalized cannabis for adult use prior to Canada doing so, however, it does not have as robust of a regulated cannabis industry as Canada does.
The stigma is fading in Canada now that people are seeing that the sky hasn’t fallen post-legalization.
Typically the older a person is, the less likely they are to support cannabis reform and/or personally consume cannabis, and while that’s still the case in Canada, seniors are now the fastest-growing cannabis consumer age group according to data recently released by Statistics Canada:
Cannabis use is less common among seniors than it is in other age groups (7%, compared with 10% at ages 45 to 64, 25% at ages 25 to 44, and 26% at ages 15 to 24). However, cannabis consumption among seniors has been accelerating at a much faster pace than it has among other age groups. For example, in 2012, less than 1% of seniors (about 40,000) reported using, contrasting sharply with estimates from 2019 indicating that more than 400,000 seniors have used cannabis in the past three months.
The increasing popularity of cannabis among older adults has also contributed to an increase in the average age of cannabis users, which has risen from 29.4 years in 2004 to 38.1 in 2019.
The data released by Statistics Canada demonstrated that 27% of the consumers in the senior age group were brand new cannabis consumers. The data also demonstrated that seniors were less frequent users compared to younger age groups, that they were more likely to use cannabis for medical reasons compared to other age groups, and that they were much more likely to exclusively make their purchases from legal sources.
Cannabis stigma has been much more prevalent in decades past, which is reflected in this data. Younger consumers were not subjected to as much reefer madness as older generations, and so it’s not a coincidence that younger people are more likely to have consumed cannabis than older citizens.
But as the stigma continues to fade and seniors share their positive cannabis experiences with other seniors, the consumption rates for the senior age group will continue to rise, which is not a bad thing at all.