Seniors and Cannabis: A Green + Silver Symposium recap.

4 mins read

The first-ever Green + Silver Symposium was a great success, but if you missed Canada’s first gathering focused on cannabis and optimal aging, we have a full recap for you.

Event Number One: Industry Night (watch the live stream here)

Our speakers at Industry Night gave us great insight into the senior population and their attitudes and usage of cannabis. We had a large turnout of cannabis industry insiders and heard about seniors’ habits and attitudes from Environics Research’s VP Health and Wellness, Vijay Wadhawan. Vijay showed us that we can’t lump all seniors into one value set: different seniors value different things.

Then, Michelle Arbus, VP Research and Insights at Strainprint, further solidified Vijay’s points as she dove into Strainprint’s inaugural Green + Silver report on seniors and cannabis use which explained how different age groups within the senior demographic use cannabis, when and why.

And, finally, Megan Henderson of The Growth Op showed us how seniors are one of the most engaged demographics – not just for cannabis consumption, but also for media consumption. Despite stereotypes of seniors preferring print media, they engage heavily with video and online content and use smartphones, tablets and desktops.

Event Number Two: Seniors’ Breakfast (watch the live stream here)

We had a very engaged audience at the Seniors’ Breakfast that saw a very lively question-and-answer period.

Sarah Mendel, a nurse practitioner at GrowWise Health, presented Cannabis 101. Educating the audience on the difference between THC and CBD, the medical benefits of cannabis use, and other important basics.

We then had a panel discussion about the medical benefits of cannabis, moderated by COO of Vapium, Barry Fogarty. Our panelists discussed the following:

  • James O’Hara of the Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana discussed the issues with taxing medical cannabis and how seniors can access it fairly;
  • Dr. Jonas Vanderzwan, Medical Director at WeedMD, discussed how seniors can talk to hesitant doctors about using medical cannabis; and
  • Breanna Roycroft of GrowWise Health discussed how licensed producers can help provide access to medical cannabis when a doctor won’t prescribe.

Event Number Three: Caregivers’ Lunch (watch live stream here)

Our Caregivers’ Lunch was filled with one-on-one fireside chats to better understand how families and caregivers of seniors can better understand cannabis.

Leigh Merlo of Discerning Seniors chatted with WeedMD’s Medical Director Dr. Jonas Vanderzwan about the barriers that seniors face when trying to access cannabis through the traditional medical system.

Since many kids end up as caregivers for their aging parents, Cannvas.Me team members, Daniel Davidzon and Shirish Patel, discussed how different generations can have conservations around cannabis use to help break the stigma.

Our own Reva Seth spoke with CFAMM’s James O’Hara about the stigmas that prevent doctors, seniors and patients from accessing medical cannabis, despite it being legal since 2001.

Business of Cannabis’ inaugural Green + Silver was education, engaging and interesting. We look forward to publishing an ongoing series of content on the topic throughout the year, in the lead up to Green + Silver 2019.  Keep your eyes on our website for announcements about 2019 dates.  

We wouldn’t have been able to put on Green + Silver without the support of our partners:

The Arthritis Society

Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana


Discerning Seniors


The Growth Op

GrowWise Health

The National Post






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