They’re over 60, sell marijuana – and say it’s “pretty cool”


It is high time for seniors to get into the cannabis business.

In many ways, Amy Peckham looks like a typical grandmother: the 60-year-old is talkative (especially about her four grown children, whom she raised as a stay-at-home mom), charitable (she has co-founded the Peckham Family Foundation, which donates money to everything from environmental causes to the arts in education); and always listening to her family (her two daughters now work with her in the family business).

Amy Peckham with her daughters.

But to be frank, there is a big difference between Peckham, a grandmother of a child, and your grandmother: weed. Indeed, Peckham is both the Managing Director of Etain, the only female-owned medical marijuana dispensary in New York City, and a “marijuana mentor” for young people, especially women, looking to start or grow their cannabis business.

“It’s good to be a senior in the THC world,” Peckham jokes, noting that younger people often come to her to discuss ideas or get advice. “There are a lot of young participants moving and leading the industry. Several dozen of them call me “mom”. “

And she’s not the only AARP-eligible person interested in the weed business. With his salt-and-pepper beard, addresses in Scottsdale, Arizona and New York, and his impressive business history (he has run healthcare, finance and aviation companies), Steve Trenk, 65, can also seem like a surprise. worthy of the cannabis world.

Cannabis entrepreneur Steve Trenk.

Steve trenk

But father and grandfather are serious about weed. “I see it as an opportunity to do good for society as a whole while creating generational wealth,” he says. (This could certainly create wealth, as spending on legal cannabis is expected to reach nearly $ 17 billion this year, and by 2022 will reach over $ 31 billion, according to data from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.)

Trenk is a partner of Tech Holdings, which produces brands like Quigley’s, fast-acting THC shots and topicals, and a range of CBD skin care and wellness, The golden Q, and a investor in some 50 marijuana-related companies. When asked what his family thought about his new business orientation, he replied with a laugh:

“Everyone thinks it’s pretty cool.”

While the elderly may be in the minority of movers and shakers in the cannabis world, Chris Walsh, President of Marijuana Business Daily, says he’s seeing more seniors entering the C-suite industry all the way to the retail level, where some dispensaries, especially those with older clientele, hire older salespeople.

And the elderly may be exactly what the nascent industry needs to thrive. This is because older cannabis business owners may get a better idea of ​​one of the fastest growing and potentially most lucrative cannabis user groups, in part because they are themselves. same group members: baby boomers.

The number of baby boomers using legal cannabis has increased by 25% in the past year, According to a report by the Eaze marijuana delivery platform. (While it’s important to note that only about 8% of people aged 50 to 64 and 3% of people 65 and over admit to smoking marijuana, according to another report.) Baby boomers are also “the biggest spenders by a pretty wide margin,” the report found, losing more than $ 95 a month on the grass, 53% more than Gen Z ages 21 to 24. years.

One of the reasons their per capita spending is so high: Medical marijuana can be of particular benefit to them. Research by Lauren Hersch Nicholas, assistant professor in the department of health policy and management at Bloomberg School at Johns Hopkins, found that 55% of older people report one or more chronic illnesses with symptoms that could be treated with medical marijuana.

And his study, which was published this year in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, found that passing medical marijuana laws appeared to help reduce pain levels and increase the number of hours worked by workers. the elderly. (Some retirement communities already seem to understand this, offering buses that take residents to medical marijuana dispensaries.)

And the roles of the elderly in cannabis are not limited to selling medical marijuana. Ed Keating, who is in his mid-fifties, co-founded Cannabiz Media in 2015 to track cannabis and hemp license holders in the United States and Canada. He had no experience in the field of marijuana – he was from the world of publishing and compliance – but he saw it as an opportunity to create something lucrative and new.

“I was reorganized from a [corporate] position and the next day was full steam ahead in this area, ”Keating said, adding that he expects to do so for at least another decade. And his success in this new venture is helped, at least in part, by his age, he says:

“We have the advantage of getting there with all these years of experience. ”

This story was originally published on April 3, 2019.


About Clayton Arredondo

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