More and more boomers are using pot in a sign of further growth inside the $1.3 billion Florida medical marijuana market.
Driving the news: The proportion of adults 65+ who reported recent cannabis use jumped by 18% last year, from 5.1% in 2019 to 6% in 2020, according to the recent 2020 National Survey of Drug Use and Health.
- The news comes as the Florida Department of Health requests funding to double the number of employees at the Office of Medical Marijuana Use — from 80 to 165 — to keep up with demand, per Florida Trend.
- And the office plans to issue 19 more treatment center licenses by July 1, FT reports, bringing the total licensed centers in Florida to 41. Another eight will be issued in 2022.
By the numbers: More than 620,000 Floridians are now qualified to legally buy medicinal pot, and cannabis companies say seniors are a growing part of the market.
- One company, Trulieve, offers a Senior Sunday discount. Reps gave "Silver Tours" at long-term care facilities before the pandemic, per the Tampa Bay Times.
- "You used to have to sneak in the back alley to purchase it, but now you can just walk right into the store and buy it," 74-year-old Marvin Yeoman told the Times.
Flashback: The negative stigma attached to pot was born right here in Ybor City. In 1933, a young man murdered his parents and three siblings with an ax and police blamed marijuana cigarettes.
- "Maybe the weed only had a small indirect part in the alleged insanity of the youth, but I am declaring now for all time that the increasing use of this narcotic must stop and will be stopped," said Tampa Police Chief Logan, per the Tampa Tribune of Oct. 18, 1933.
- The true story of Victor Licata led to the 1936 film "Reefer Madness" and pot prohibition.
Yes, but: The negative stigma has nearly died as more Americans discover the medical and mental health benefits of marijuana.
🍁 Is this you? Did you wag your finger at those hippies but are now thinking about getting high as you read this? Email [email protected], please, and quickly tell us what changed your mind about pot for a future story.
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