Feature Image

Seniors from Retirement and Assisted Living Community Take ‘Cannabis 101’ Class

Residents of a retirement and assisted living community in Washington recently attended an educational seminar to learn about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis.

Senior residents from a retirement and assisted living community in Washington recently took a field trip to a cannabis retailer for an educational seminar on the basics of medical cannabis. A group of nine seniors from Gig Harbor’s Sound Vista Village participated in a “Cannabis 101” course and tour at the Seattle-based marijuana retailer Vela.

Tracy Willis, director of corporate development at Village Concepts, which owns and operates Sound Vista Village, said that employees noticed they were fielding an increasing number of questions about cannabis and its health advantages. The activities program at Sound Vista Village offers structured educational opportunities, so they decided to connect with Vela and offer to bring a group of residents to Vera so they could learn from those most knowledgeable.

“We put it out there and nobody would sign up – they were all really curious, the executive director said she would see people walking by the sign-up sheet and [waiting] for someone else,” Willis told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Once residents watched an educational video about cannabidiol (CBD) and its capability to alleviate tremors, however, residents began to take the plunge of signing up.

“I don’t know who went first but after one person did it was a full bus,” Willis added.

Medical Marijuana Research

The Vela facility gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the differences between using cannabis medicinally and recreationally, about the various cannabis consumption methods, and the varying effects produced by different strains. Consumers have the opportunity to see the cannabis cultivation process first-hand on the premises. Vela general manager Erin Green also educated the group of the laws around marijuana use in Washington.

Some of the seniors left the shop with cannabis product, including Barbara Krause, who purchased some tincture that she hopes will help with arthritis. According to Leafy’s coverage of the event, topical cannabis products – including balms and creams — were popular among the group.

Following the successful visit, Village Concepts had more residents signing up on the waiting list for the next trip. Vela has said it plans to continue working with retirement communities.

“This is just one of our 17 communities, and we kind of piloted this one in Gig Harbor, and we’re going to keep doing it as long as they’ll have us,” Willis said.

While lingering stereotypes and stigmas have made some within the older generations initially resistant, cannabis use among Americans age 55 and older are increasing, according to a report from CBS News. A recent study published in the journal Addiction found that cannabis use among baby boomers between 2006 and 2013 increased by 58 percent. Studies have shown cannabis to be helpful in the management of pain and inflammation, common health issues facing seniors. In the state of Washington, marijuana is legal for medical purposes, and recreationally for adults over 21 years.

Learn about the cannabis laws in your state and what studies have found about cannabis and its therapeutic properties by visiting our education page.