Article by Global News
Cindi Phelps never imagined herself running a pot shop. She smoked weed as a teenager, but as an adult she says she became “cranky” about cannabis, endlessly lecturing her kids and judging everyone who touched the stuff.
It was only when she neared 50 that she realized marijuana could soothe her pain from a chronic health issue. Now that she manages the Tamarack Cannabis Boutique in Kimberley, B.C., Phelps can relate to customers who are nervous about trying pot for the first time in decades – or ever.
About 15 to 20 per cent of her customers fall into this category, and most are baby boomers, she said.
“They had their kids. They had their family. Now they’re retired and they’d like to try it again,” she said. “It’s legal, they don’t feel they’re going to get arrested for it.”
Nearly 14 per cent of cannabis users surveyed by Statistics Canada from mid-November to mid-December had just begun using weed within the previous three months. The period they were asked about includes time before and after legalization, but the percentage of new users jumped noticeably compared with previous quarters, when they ranged from 4.7 to 7.8 per cent.
The agency found that new users spanned all age groups. However, use among people aged 24 to 35 declined slightly in the months as legalization was unfolding, while it grew among all age categories above 35.
Legalization has drawn a whole new segment of people who prefer to use legal cannabis and are willing to pay more for it, said Jennifer Lee, the lead partner managing the cannabis sector for consulting firm Deloitte.