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.
Try to find budtenders or event reception staff that are in the over-50 demographic. If they are unfamiliar with the dispensary experience, they will be more receptive to engaging with staff that are “like them” in terms of age and values.
Design your retail space to feel relaxed and comfortable. It should offer discretion. It should be clean, well-lit and well-maintained.
Whether your style is brushed-steel-and-glass or rustic cottage living room, define your space with a cohesive design and decoration plan. To really stand out, choose a theme, like dispensary chain The Botanist, “It’s inspired by 19th Century laboratories, greenhouses and the study of botany. There are lush botanical walls, weathered wood and bell jars …” writes chief marketing officer Harris Damashek.
Should I display product out front?
- If you’ve got the space, then yes. If you’re over 50 and you’re new to cannabis, the tangibility of a physical sample can offer reassurance. It’s not black market, so don’t hide your products as though you are ashamed of them. Buds look pretty and smell good, too.
- Ideally, create a viewing table on your shop floor and display your bud in clear containers with holes for smelling. Think Apple showroom, but for weed.
- Create guide cards to accompany each sample, listing the name of the strain, the price, the type of weed, the effects, the medicinal benefits, THC strength, CBD content, and so on. Better still, place tablet computers for customers to search your stock and filter by their preferences. List your strains online, too, so customers can research your stock before they come to your store.
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.
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.