As pot legalization continues to ramp up, the amount of information available to the public regarding the plant has naturally increased. Now more than ever, there are platforms for people to get a better understanding of the plant, particularly for medicinal use, where 30 states and the District of Columbia have officially legalized cannabis in some form. Additionally, CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, has been approved in all 50 U.S. states.
So it should come as no surprise that the amount of U.S. seniors now utilizing the plant for medicinal use has more than doubled over the past few years. As a result, MMJ programs have taken notice—and have facilitated the use of cannabis for senior citizens looking to get with the times. One of the latest additions is from a California-based dispensary—a shuttle bus that takes seniors to its location, free of charge.
Free Shuttle Bus Takes Seniors to Cannabis Dispensaries
Bud and Bloom—a dispensary based in Santa Ana, California, is making it easier for seniors to harness the vast powers of medical marijuana. The facility provides a free shuttle, which can hold about 35 people, for senior citizens in the area.
According to NPR.org, only around half of the seniors who utilize the service are paying customers. The other half? People trying to educate themselves on the ever-changing cannabis landscape.
“Not everybody is coming to be a customer,” Kandice Hawes, director of community outreach for Bud and Bloom said. “A lot are just coming to be educated.”
Typically, after the seniors disembark the shuttle, they are treated to more free goodies—sandwiches, beverages, and other refreshments. However, the point of the endeavor isn’t to fatten up a bunch of senior citizens—it’s to inform.
While the customers begin to eat, a presentation begins about the various nuances of medical marijuana. This includes the various medical conditions that can be treated by cannabis, as well as the various ways it can be consumed.
Derek Tauchman, a budtender at Bud and Bloom, says one of the biggest areas of concern for the seniors is the actual act of getting high. He says that particular notion is heavily covered at seminars.
“What they don’t realize is there’s so many different ways to medicate now that you don’t have to actually get high to relieve all your aches and pains,” he says.
Following the seminar, the seniors are beckoned into the actual dispensary, where they are now better-equipped to choose the form of cannabis they best think suits their particular ailment.
Many seniors tend to choose CBD over traditional THC-infused edibles, because most of them are just looking for traditional medication, without the psychoactive effects.
Jim Lebowitz, a 75-year old patient, told NPR his choice of consumption is edibles, which he finds has greatly helped his own chronic pain. These particular edibles contain both THC and CBD. In this case, the psychoactive effects of THC are helpful for pain management.
“I got chocolate and I got gummies,” Lebowitz tells a visitor. “Never had the chocolate before, but I’ve had the gummies and they worked pretty good.
While some seniors are forced to pay for their treatment out of pocket, they still find it worthwhile in the end. The cannabis is certainly less addicting than forms of opioid painkillers, not to mention a healthier alternative to other traditional procedures.
With the stigma surrounding marijuana waning, don’t be surprised to see the number of senior citizens fully embracing the plant as a medicine, slowly, but surely.