Cannabis Use Among Older Adults Has Increased 75 Percent Since 2015

NEW YORK: Cannabis use continues to increase in popularity among adults 65 years of age and older in the United States, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers estimate that cannabis use in adults age 65 and older increased from 2.4 percent to 4.2 percent in the United States, a significant increase of 75 percent, between 2015 and 2018.

With the legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes in many states, medical professions are studying its use in treating a number of chronic health conditions. Since 1996, 31 states have legalized medical marijuana, while 11 states and Washington D.C. also have legalized recreational use. Previous research has shown cannabis use has been relatively stable in recent years.

“Our study shows cannabis use is increasingly popular nationwide among older adults,” says the study’s lead author, Benjamin Han, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Geriatric Medicine, Palliative Care and Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “As more older adults use cannabis, whether for therapeutic or recreational purposes, it is important for health care providers to counsel their patients despite the very limited evidence base on the benefits and harms of cannabis use among older adults.”

For the study, researchers analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey from the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. The survey categorized cannabis use by asking whether marijuana, hashish, pot, grass, or hash oil were either smoked or ingested.

Researchers observed trends in prevalence of past-year cannabis use, broken down by socio-demographic background, chronic disease, healthcare utilization, and other substance use among adults age 65 and older, in the United States, between 2015 and 2018.

Certain subsets of this population saw an even higher rise in prevalence. For example, researchers estimated that past-year use more than doubled by older adults with diabetes, among those who have received mental health treatment, and those reporting past-year alcohol use. Women, and individuals who were married, had a college degree, and/or had higher income also significantly increased their cannabis use.

“We need to continue to study both the risks and benefits of marijuana use, especially among older individuals” says the study’s senior author, Joseph Palamar, MPH, PhD, associate professor of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “This survey also did not ask about vaping of marijuana or THC products, so its possible use was underestimated. We must follow vaping trends closely, among all age groups.”

Researchers say they next plan to acquire more detailed information about how medical marijuana affects older populations, as well as the risks and side-effects. Furthermore, the profiles of other cannabinoids besides THC and CBD in medical marijuana products warrant further research, according to the study authors.

“This study gives us important insights into cannabis use among key groups of older adults, particularly baby boomers,” says Caroline S. Blaum, MD, the Diane and Arthur Belfer Professor of Geriatric Medicine and director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care. “Understanding how our older patients use marijuana and evaluating its risks and benefits is one of the most important questions our field must answer to provide the best care.”

Funding for the study was provided by National Institute on Drug Abuse grants K23DA043651, K01DA038800 and P30DA011041.

Industries Booming Since Marijuana Legalization

The marijuana industry has been growing steadily since its legalization in the United States, with more than 75% increase in sales, and contributing greatly to the economy of this nation. To date 11 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use and other 33 have authorized cannabis for medicinal use.

Legalization has seen the creation of a diverse range of companies related to the production and distribution of marijuana, driving the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Some of the industries that have directly benefited the most from marijuana legalization include farms that grow the plant, to the dispensaries that sell its many product forms, as well as various distribution channels, including delivery services.

Below are some of the popular industries that have developed since marijuana was legalized.

Farms

Before marijuana legalization, farmers used to practice secret-indoor farming which consumed much energy. This is now changing since they can freely grow the plant outdoors and utilize the power of the sun. Farming legally has enabled this industry to take advantage of traditional farming practices such as irrigation and multi-farming. Legalization has enabled farmers to practice quality control, including the use of organic fertilizers and eco-friendly growing methodologies.  These innovations improve productivity and improve the marketplace, reducing demand for marijuana black markets.

Dispensaries

Following the legalization of marijuana in some states, dispensaries selling cannabis have mushroomed nationwide. As earlier mentioned, many people have secured employment in these dispensaries including young people, thus reducing the crime rate in towns due to joblessness.

Legal dispensary owners have had to advance their marketing strategies to compete in this legal market. This means that if you desire to venture in this business, you will need more than the investment capital and the proper licenses, you will be required to create a compelling retail experience, and a differentiated brand.  Dispensaries need to stock their shelves with the right products for their local customers and offer the best customer service.

Delivery Services

Dozens of new cannabis delivery services have sprouted all over the country, thanks to legalization. Initial cannabis laws featured restrictions concerning the sale, use, marketing of marijuana, and licensees could not freely make deliveries to their clients.

In recent years, however, several legal states have amended their regulations to allow for home delivery, and this has helped improve customer satisfaction as well as retention.

Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry has been a huge beneficiary of cannabis legalization. Marijuana is no longer just a smokeable product. Cannabis, once its active ingredients are extracted or distilled,  can be infused into a wide range of products — ranging from beauty lotions and potions, wellness and nutraceuticals, food and beverages, sweets and savories.

Wrap Up

The legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use has transformed a once cottage industry into big business. Investors are rushing into the cannabis markets, along with entrepreneurs intoxicated with the endless opportunities the Green Rush has presented. Cannabis legalization is driving the growth of a number of ancillary and adjacent industries, and industry analysts expect its current growth to continue to expand for decades to come.

 

Tilray Expands Global Leadership Team With New COO And CFO

CANADA: Tilray, a global pioneer in cannabis production, research, cultivation, and distribution, announces the expansion of its global senior leadership team with two strategic hires: Jon Levin as Chief Operating Officer, who was formerly with Revlon, and Michael Kruteck as Chief Financial Officer, who was formerly with Molson Coors and Pharmaca. Mr. Kruteck’s appointment will be effective immediately after filing the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019. Mark Castaneda, Tilray’s current CFO, will take on the role of Strategic Business Development and continue to advise the company and assist in Kruteck’s transition.
 
“We are thrilled to have these experienced leaders join our team as we continue to disrupt the global pharmaceutical, alcohol, CPG and functional food and beverage industries,” said Brendan Kennedy, Tilray CEO. “Jon and Michael come to Tilray with extensive expertise in their respective fields and we look forward to their contributions as we pioneer the future of cannabis and hemp around the world.  As CFO, Mark has led the company through its IPO and substantial growth in the past couple years and we thank him as he transitions to a new strategic role with the company.”
 
Levin, COO, joins Tilray from Revlon where he most recently was General Manager, U.S. Mass Markets, responsible for the consumer products sold through major retailers in the United States. With 25 years of experience, Levin has general management knowledge in diverse industries including beauty and health, CPG and sporting goods. Prior to Revlon, he was the Executive Vice President, Sales, for Ferrara Candy Company, and had senior sales leadership positions with Nautilus, Wrigley and Acosta. Levin has a B.S. in Economics from Portland State University and a degree in Executive Management from Cornell University.
 
Kruteck, CFO, served multiple senior financial roles at Molson Coors Beverage Company and most recently as CFO for Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy. With over 30 years of experience, Kruteck possesses a broad finance background with specific experience in financial and operational transformations, supply chain, corporate finance, and financial planning and analysis. Michael received his MBA from the Garvin School of International Management (Thunderbird) and his B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
 
Tilray’s current CFO, Mark Castaneda, who joined the company in March 2018, will take on the role of Strategic Business Development focusing on strategic initiatives for Tilray while also supporting Kruteck through the transition.

Eaze Partners With Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Santa Monica And Recreational Embassy To Debut Eaze Hospitality

CALIFORNIA: Eaze, California’s leading cannabis delivery marketplace, announced a new partnership with Recreational Embassy, an elemental curator of cannabis and hemp solutions for the luxury hospitality market, to bring high-touch cannabis experiences to luxury hotel guests with the launch of Eaze Hospitality. The Eaze Hospitality concierge service will debut at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Santa Monica, marking a first-of-its-kind intersection of tourism and the cannabis industry.

“The partnership with the Fairmont and Recreational Embassy is another proof point that cannabis is normalizing,” says Sheena Shiravi, Senior Director of Marketing at Eaze. “Offering adults in-hotel access to safe and legal cannabis at California’s luxury tourism destinations reinforces how beneficial it is to incorporate cannabis into every aspect of your life.”

Eaze Hospitality is designed to meet the needs, tastes, and lifestyle of the luxury cannabis consumer. Features include a concierge service that serves as a resource for guests’ questions and supports a positive cannabis experience. Eaze Hospitality is committed to educating both new and existing customers about the benefits of cannabis and the innovative products available to them.

“Hotels should have a safe, legal and thoughtful approach to meet the needs of the modern luxury hotel customer,” says Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Director of Sales and Marketing, Rebecca Huetter. “By partnering with Recreational Embassy, we are able to provide the contemporary level of hotel amenities our guests have come to expect.”

“Being present is what the new modern luxury travel experience is all about, and cannabis is the key wellness product to help you get there,” said Lauren Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Recreational Embassy. “As we guide the hospitality industry along this fresh customer journey with integrity, Eaze Hospitality reinforces the overlap between the new cannabis consumer and the modern luxury traveler.”

The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, California is the first property to leverage Eaze Hospitality to facilitate access to legal, compliant and brand-aligned hemp and cannabis products and services. Guests aged 21+ will have access to customized in-room menus that feature low-dose and non-inhalation hemp and cannabis products. Through Recreational Embassy, the hotel will also offer bespoke CBD products including a custom scented fig CBD-infused bath bomb inspired by the property’s signature fig tree.

The potential to holistically reshape the signature elements of a luxury property hotel-stay by integrating hemp, cannabis and CBD products offers an unprecedented opportunity for hotels to drive incremental revenue. “We bridge the gaps between both those experienced with cannabis and those we call ‘canna-curious’ who are interested to learn more,” says Brian Applegarth, Chief Education Officer of Recreational Embassy. “The most common questions we hear from visitors are about how to get cannabis products and where to enjoy them. Our goal is to minimize confusion for hotels and their guests while maximizing on-property experiences and driving incremental value.”

Cresco Labs Receives First Adult-Use Cultivation Approvals Granted In Illinois

ILLINOIS: Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multistate cannabis operators in the United States, today announced that its three cultivation facilities in the state of Illinois have been approved for growing adult-use cannabis by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The three facilities, located in Joliet, Kankakee and Lincoln, can represent a total combined cultivation space at completion of 630,000 square feet per Illinois state regulations.

Cresco-Logo_Blue“We are very pleased to receive the first adult-use cultivation approvals granted in Illinois, which speaks to our continued success in efficiently executing on our strategic priorities,” said Cresco Labs CEO and Co-founder Charlie Bachtell. “The approval of our cultivation facilities is a key milestone in our preparation for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Illinois on January 1, 2020. As the only operator with three cultivation facilities in Illinois – the maximum number allowed in the state – we will have the scale and capacity to effectively capitalize on the dramatic increase in demand for cannabis expected next year. We continue to have the leading share of the Illinois medical-use cannabis market, and we believe the exceptional progress we have made this year to expand our cultivation capacity and retail dispensary network in Illinois will position Cresco Labs to be the market leader in recreational cannabis as well.”

 

New Cannabis Tour Company Is Now Booking Tours To Mendocino.

CALIFORNIA: Locally owned NorCal Tour Company, Inc announced today that it is now booking tours of California Cannabis Country with its new Mendocino Experience Cannabis Tour. The tour is based on the Northern California wine tour model, taking tourists to licensed legal cannabis farms as well as an inside look at the Northern California cannabis industry.

Mendocino farm

Tourists are shuttled from downtown San Francisco to the southern corner of The Emerald Triangle, Northern California’s renowned appellation for cannabis, on a day trip that returns tourists back to San Francisco just in time for dinner. The tour takes guests to beautiful Mendocino County sights, dispensaries, farms, and cannabis processing facilities, a lovely lunch at a gourmet bakery & cafe in charming downtown Ukiah, and the majestic Giant Redwoods, giving tourists a comprehensive look into Northern California’s cannabis industry and culture. Guests learn from the foremost experts in the industry all about cannabis and its recreational and therapeutic uses, while taking in the verdant beauty of Northern California.

Said Chris Vardijan, Chief Operations Officer, “We offer the first and only tour experience in Northern California that brings tourists to visit an actual working farm. Our tours are fun and informative even for folks who don’t partake in cannabis.”

Report: Retail Cannabis Tax Revenues Surpass $1 Billion In 2018

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: State and local excise tax collections on retail adult-use cannabis sales surpassed $1 billion in 2018 — a 57 percent increase over 2017 levels, according to data compiled by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Annual excise tax revenues on adult-use cannabis sales ($1.04 billion) rivaled those for all forms of alcohol $(1.16 billion), the group reported. State-specific sales taxes on retail cannabis purchases also yielded an addition $300 million in revenue in 2018.

Authors of the report estimated that cannabis-specific taxes would raise an estimated $11.9 billion annually if the product were legally available at retailers nationwide.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at: (202) 483-5500. Full text of the report is available online.

Report: More Banks Providing Services To Cannabis-Specific Businesses

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: A growing number of banks and credit unions are providing financial services to marijuana-related businesses, according to data released by FinCEN (the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) and first publicized by the news portal MarijuanaMoment.net.

The report acknowledged that the number of financial institutions actively banking with marijuana-related businesses rose from 401 in October 2017 to 486 in September 2018.

Although the federal classification of cannabis as a schedule I prohibited substance discourages banks from cooperating with state-licensed cannabis businesses, a 2014 US Treasury Department memo provided guidance to financial institutions wishing to transact with the marijuana industry. However, that memo was rescinded by the Justice Department earlier this year.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.

 

Michigan: Marijuana Possession Becomes Legal Next Week

MJLegalMICHIGAN: Key provisions of the state’s voter-initiated marijuana measure will take effect next week. Members of the Board of State Canvassers certified the midterm election results on November 26, and Proposition 1: The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act becomes law on Thursday, December 6.

Provisions specific to the adult possession and cultivation of cannabis will take immediate effect. Those over the age of 21 may legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and/or 15 grams of cannabis concentrates in a private residence. Adults may also legally cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in private, and possess the harvest (up to ten ounces) of those plants. Public use of cannabis will remain a violation of law.

Under the new law, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has up to 12 months to begin accepting applications from those seeking to operate licensed cannabis businesses.

Michigan is the tenth state to regulate the adult use of marijuana, and it is the ninth to do so via voter initiative.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit Michigan NORML.

South Africa: Highest Court Upholds Right To Consume Marijuana In Private

SOUTH AFRICA: The nation’s highest court has upheld a 2017 decision finding that the use of marijuana by adults in private is constitutionally protected behavior.

Judges unanimously ruled that privacy protections encompass an adult’s right to possess and grow cannabis in a private space. It is not “a criminal offense for an adult to use or be in possession of cannabis in private for his or her personal consumption,” the court determined.

Public cannabis use and marijuana sales remain prohibited under the ruling.

South African politicians first outlawed marijuana in 1908. Annually, some 13 percent of all arrests in the nation are marijuana-related.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org or NORML Political Director, Justin Strekal, at (202) 483-5500.