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Increased popularity in cannabis among seniors
SUDBURY – When it comes to cannabis clientele, it's not quite as young as some may expect.
According to Statistics Canada, people 65 and older are the fastest growing age group for cannabis use.
"It makes me sleep. That's the only reason I'll smoke it. I'll smoke half a joint before I go to bed and I'll pass out right away, and that's all I want," said Mike Solomon, senior cannabis user.
Statistics Canada says there are ten times more seniors using cannabis today than in 2012.
"It's all kind of out in the woods now and out in the open, so I think people are a little more comfortable in coming in," explained Paul Laplante, senior cannabis user. "Before, when you didn't know what type you were getting, you got what you got, right… but now they have different strains that have different effects on you and stuff like that, so the medical effects are good… the stress relieving is good too."
Although young cannabis users are still the most common, staff members at Canna Cabana say they aren't surprised that seniors are the fastest growing group.
"Before working here I probably would have been a little bit surprised because I really couldn't imagine my grandparents coming in here, but definitely from working here, they're probably one of our biggest clientele," says Britney Lefebvre, Canna Cabana.
Canna Cabana Co-Manager David Jones added that "the age range is all over, but for the most part, it is a lot of seniors and I think they're just comfortable now. It's openly used."
Statistics Canada also found people older than the age of 65 were more likely to use medical marijuana than any other group.
"I think seniors are adapting to the changing landscape of pain management… one more pill is not what many seniors want if they're already taking five," says Hugh Kruzel, Canadian Association of Retired Persons.
According to the figures, roughly half of seniors in Canada are using cannabis for medical reasons, while the other half are split between recreational use and non-medical reasons.