Silver Dabblers: The fastest-growing cannabis user is aged over 50

Divorced Dads and Silver Dabblers. Microdosing Mamas and Discreet Unwinders.

What do these people have in common?

Many of them are over 50, and they all smoke weed.

These archetypal imbibers were identified in reports by cannabis market research firms New Frontier Data and Brightfield Group. The reports present fascinating personas of Americans who smoke weed, including portraits of the people who make up America’s fastest growing cannabis market: the over-50 crowd.

According to the research, almost half of Divorced Dads consume cannabis on the daily, while Silver Dabblers only indulge once or twice a month. Silver Dabblers prefer to smoke bud in pipes or joints, while Medical Purists prefer to eat edibles. Medical Purists use CBD to manage pain and reduce anxiety, while Newbies are mostly recreational weed users. Newbies consume cannabis only once or twice a year, while a fifth of Boomerangs, (those who’ve resumed smoking weed after a long hiatus), now imbibe every day.

While these archetypes may share a similar age distribution and appreciation for weed, their frequency of use, preference for method, and reason for consumption are distinct, showing the complexity of the emerging over-50 market. And the real-life people that these portraits represent? Even more complex.

Why does this matter to my business?

Understand your customers in order to make them happy. Learn what matters to your over-50 customers and earn business from loyal, savvy consumers with the highest earning and spending power. Get it right and it’s a win for the ages.

How can I make my over-50 customers feel welcome in my cannabis dispensary?

  • Get the basics right. Hire well. Train well. Know your trade, share your knowledge. Offer memberships with discounts, and consider offering budtender appointment booking, or at least “call-ahead” booking during busy hours.


Boomerangs- those who’ve resumed smoking weed after a long hiatus, now imbibe every day. The 1970’s have finally made a comeback.

Divorced Dads- consume cannabis on the daily. Understandable.

Microdosing Mamas- ladies using a little pot while raising a tot. Or two, or three. Again, understandable.

Medical Purists- prefer to eat edibles. Use CBD to manage pain and reduce anxiety. Believe nature often trumps science.

Newbies- mostly recreational weed users. Consume cannabis only once or twice a year. “I haven’t smoked weed since that one night last July in the hot springs.”

Silver Dabblers- only indulge once or twice a month. Prefer to smoke bud in pipes or joints. Could be your next-door neighbor or your primary care physician.

Over-50 Cannabis Consumers are Leading the Way for New Product Category Development

Over-50 cannabis consumers are more likely to explore different consumption methods, including topicals, tinctures and edibles. They are also more interested in consuming CBD.

Don’t wait for customers to come to your cannabis dispensary. Go and get them!

If customers have mobility issues, they can find it difficult to reach a dispensary. Cannabis delivery services are legal in some places and help provide a connection. Other dispensaries are helping customers come to them. Bud and Bloom, a marijuana dispensary, operates a shuttle bus that takes retirees from a senior living community to its shop in Santa Ana, California.

Did you know?

The first written record of cannabis use as a healing medicine was in 2727 B.C. from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung. Emperor Nung discovered not only the healing properties of marijuana but also of ginseng and ephedra.

Consider educational content to drive over-50 traffic to your website

Because federal legislation prevents you from promoting your cannabis business, weed advertisements are banned by many digital marketing channels like Twitter and Facebook. Fortunately, in most markets you can still post educational content, as long as it doesn’t directly promote a product sale. Whether they’re Newbies who are still learning the ropes or Boomerangs who are getting to grips with gadgets, the over-50 crowd are hungry to learn. Trading valuable content for site traffic is the strategy behind inbound marketing, and it’s the basis of a lot of what we do here at Hybrid.

If you need help developing a comprehensive plan for attracting and retaining business from the over-50 cannabis consumer, Contact Us for a pressure-free chat.


“Hands, touching hands Reaching out, touching me, touching you…”