CBDWire Editorial Coverage: Since they came onto the scene after World War II, baby boomers have heavily impacted the world around them, and their influence is being felt now in the emerging cannabis market.
- A recent survey has shown a significant increase in cannabinoid-derived product consumption in the United States, most notably among baby boomers.
- With a combination of disposable income, health issues and liberal attitudes towards drugs, baby boomers represent a natural market for cannabis companies.
- This trend also signifies wider growth and diversification of products and customers in the industry.
Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA) (MCOA Profile) is tapping into this growing market through the production of industrial hemp and the marketing of a wide range of CBD wellness products. Having started out as a medical cannabis company, Organigram Holdings, Inc. (OTC: OGRMF) is adjusting to shifting markets by appealing to recreational consumers while showing loyalty to its existing customer base. A focus on research provides CV Sciences, Inc. (OTC: CVSI) with a growing range of products and the credibility to appeal to health-conscious cannabis consumers. Global innovator and market leader Isodiol International, Inc. (OTC: ISOLF) recently received approval for its cannabidiol (CBD) to be designated as an active pharmaceutical ingredient. And Cannabis Strategic Ventures (OTC: NUGS) just launched a new line of CBD-based luxury skin, hair and body products.
The Changing Face of Cannabis
It’s hardly surprising to see that baby boomers are an important part of the cannabis and hemp markets. The generation that saw marijuana gain counter-culture popularity in the ‘60s and ‘70s is also a generation with considerable disposable income. As they head into retirement and old age, many baby boomers are looking for ways to enjoy their wealth, as well as ways to manage physical ailments. The growth of both the medical and the recreational cannabis sectors in North America means that this product can cater to both desires.
The growth in cannabinoid consumption by baby boomers is just part of the expansion of the cannabis market. Given the chance to openly research plant and products, manufacturers are vastly increasing the potential of cannabis. Improved strains improve the performance and profitability of the drug, while derivative products and support services turn what was essentially a single product into a whole sector.
Baby Boomers and Cannabis Consumption
For companies such as Marijuana Company of America (OTC: MCOA), baby boomers are an increasingly important market sector. A recent survey of nearly 18,000 adult Americans found that cannabis is becoming increasingly popular among the older generation. The number of cannabis users in the United States has nearly doubled over the past decade, despite it still being illegal in several states and only available for medical use in most. Around 9 percent of those aged 50 to 64 had used cannabis at some point in the year preceding the survey. Among those aged 65 and above, the figure was 3 percent. And while those numbers may not seem impressive, they are steadily growing and represent an increasingly large market for MCOA and its competitors to tap into.
What’s causing this growth in older cannabis users?
Shifting attitudes are clearly a factor. Many baby boomers came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s, when the hippy movement raised the public profile and popularity of cannabis. They were therefore raised with marijuana as a feature of popular culture, even if they personally didn’t indulge in it. More recently, a shift away from the criminalizing policies of the 1980s towards a more liberal view has started to change attitudes across the generations.
Growing availability is a factor as well. The legalization of medical cannabis in many states has made the drug accessible in ways that it wasn’t before. Given the prevalence of chronic pains and ongoing ailments among those aged 60 and over, it’s relatively easy for seniors in medical cannabis states to get a prescription. And in the states where it’s legal for recreational purposes, the only bar to use is the social attitude of the consumer.
Having grown up during an economic boom and an era with greater government support, baby boomers have emerged with the wealth to enjoy their hobbies in retirement. And for many, cannabis is now one of those hobbies.
Something for Everyone
Baby boomers are just one part of recent growth in the cannabinoid product market. It’s a pattern of growth driven in part by the increasing diversity of cannabis products, sold through separate but interconnected markets.
The first to emerge was the medical cannabis sector. This has grown from a small niche to an important part of the North America market, with cannabis and hemp now legal in parts of the United States and Canada. Millions of people use cannabinoid-based products regularly to help manage chronic pain and treat other ailments, leading to growing recognition that the legal definition of cannabis as having no medical use was both absurd and unscientific.
Medical cannabis has been followed in recent years by the legalization of recreational cannabis. Nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia have taken this step. Canada is following suit on a national level, with legalization coming this October. Strains of cannabis and brands of products aimed at recreational consumers are emerging to cater to a different market from the medical one.
Alongside these products are others related to or derived from other cannabinoids, such as CBD. Industrial hemp, which produces CBD in large quantities, is grown by companies including MCOA, who has the potential to capture a piece of what is projected by The Brightfield Group to be a $22 billion market by 2022. Following trials over the past few years, the cultivation of industrial hemp looks set to become legal across the United States with the upcoming passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
A wide range of products have been produced using active compounds from hemp. Oils and pills derived from cannabidiol oil (CBD) are increasingly popular in the health and wellness markets, finding their place on the shelves of wholefood shops.
Catering to Varied Needs
One of the reasons for the success of cannabis companies is their ability to manufacture and distribute CBD-related products for vastly different purposes. MCOA’s hempSMART™ product line shows how these companies build up a range of distinct but related products. hempSMART makes use of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive chemical found in cannabis and widely used in health and wellness products.
HempSMART Pain and hempSMART Pain Cream use CBD for one of cannabis’s most widely recognized uses — pain management in relation to minor physical activity. It’s why cannabis had grown so popular and part of why its derivatives are also proving so popular with a variety of different age groups.
HempSMART Brain, on the other hand, is designed to improve clarity, concentration and alertness. HempSMART Face has found a way to use CBD in a moisturizer that moisturizes and replenishes the skin cells on your face. And hempSMART Pet Drops let people share the benefits of CBD with their animal companions. It’s a level of variety that may allow MCOA to get its products into many niches, increasing brand awareness as well as sales.
By creating a wide range of products, cannabis companies are catering to a growing number of markets. By helping with issues such as alertness and pain management, they’re ensuring their relevance to that crucial baby boomer market.
Expanding the Range of Cannabis Products
That sort of varied approach to cannabis is leading to growth for Organigram Holdings, Inc. (OTC: OGRMF). Once a medical cannabis company, Organigram still has a strong focus on that market and is showing its commitment to patients by covering the cost of excise tax on their cannabis. But it’s also expanding into the recreational market, contributing one of its award-winning flowers to the world’s first recreational cannabis variety kit. Creating products such as variety kits and gift sets turns cannabis into more of a luxury consumer product, one to be purchased for special occasions.
CV Sciences, Inc. (OTC: CVSI) is strongly focused on the research side of cannabis, using this as both a source of new products and a way of validating its work to consumers. It’s the sort of work that adds credibility to arguments that cannabis is safe and useful for consumers.
Isodiol International, Inc. (OTC: ISOLF) is a market leader in pharmaceutical-grade pure, natural CBD and an industry leader in the manufacturing and development of CBD consumer products. The company’s line of consumable and topical skin care products features 99 percent-plus pure, natural isolated CBD, micro-encapsulations, and nano-technology for the highest quality products.
Cannabis Strategic Ventures (OTC: NUGS) is marrying cannabis science with an increasing global demand for luxury personal care products in LYXR, its newest product line. LYXR products are developed from a line of hemp-derived phytocannabinoids combined with other natural ingredients that provide high-performing skin, hair and body topical solutions. LYXR’s inaugural product will be a face mask designed to provide hydrating and anti-aging/age prevention benefits. The LYXR product line will eventually include skin, hair and body products.
The cannabis market is seeing huge growth in the variety of both products and customers. With baby boomers increasingly enjoying cannabis into retirement, marijuana appears to be well on its way to entering the mainstream.
For more information on Marijuana Company of America, visit Marijuana Company of America, Inc. (OTC: MCOA)
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