The NiaMedic Healthcare & Research Services waiting room resembled that of all the other doctors at the Laguna Hills Saddleback Medical Center in California: overhead ceiling lighting, landscape paints and a smiling person in the scrub behind the reception desk . It was the ideal place to attract the target demographic of NiaMedic: the elderly. Saddleback is nestled in the hills of an area surrounded by at least 15 retiree communities, including the village of Laguna Woods, which has over 18,000 residents. But patients who go through the doors of NiaMedic usually start with the same question: Can marijuana help?
"The short answer is yes," said Alon Blatt, director of business development at NiaMedic. "Constant pain, arthritis, fatigue, sleep disorders, anxiety – we see cannabis help all this."
While cannabis legalization has spread all over the country, stigma and suspicion about the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes has begun to fade even among the elderly. Eleven states allow anyone over the age of 21 to buy marijuana and another 22 allow medical use on the recommendation of a physician. Between 2006 and 2013, the percentage of people over 65 who reported using cannabis in the past year has increased from 0.4% to 3% nationally, according to a study published in 2017 in the US. Addiction review, while rates among people aged 50 to 64 years increased. 9% from 2.8%. Although marijuana use is even more prevalent among Generation Y, seniors are a growing part of consumers, a trend that cannabis investors hope to see continued as more and more baby boomers retire. . According to BDS Analytics, a cannabis market research firm, 18% of marijuana users in the country are baby boomers; In states with legal and adult-only markets, 21% of baby boomers have used cannabis in the last six months.