The new grey market: As older users warm up to cannabis, pot companies want to learn more
Whenever a U.S. state or a country legalizes marijuana, populations over 60 are always the ones that are doing the most research on the plant.
Brendan Kennedy, CEO, Tilray
The interest, it turns out, was mutual. In early October, Canopy announced a six-month study tracking and monitoring the effects of medical cannabis as an alternative to other pain therapies. The licensed producer partnered with the Ontario Long Term Care Association for the project, which involves 500 seniors in a number of OLTCA facilities across the province.
Kennedy strongly believes in the medical benefits of cannabis for seniors — so much so that his company is funding a six-month study, led by cannabis medical professional Dr. Blake Pearson, to research the effect medical marijuana has on sleep, the perception of pain and the overall quality of life in patients over 50.
Cannabis companies hoping to expand the medical market will have to overcome the conservatism towards cannabis amongst medical associations — both the Ontario Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association support the dismantling of the medical cannabis regime altogether, arguing that with legalization, there remains no need for medical professionals to serve a “gatekeeper role.”