In the past, choosing a state to retire in was based on several factors: how nice the weather was, how close the grandchildren were, and how many golf courses the area offered.
Today, it's pretty safe to add "how accessible medical marijuana is" to that list.
More and more, retirees are seeking out states that offer medical marijuana. This reality is largely attributed to the fact that older people with health conditions want access to the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis. As a result, retirees are flocking to states like Oregon, California, Washington, Alaska, and Colorado, where the quality of life is good and the medical access to marijuana is even better.
Retirees who head to a dispensary in one of these states are much less likely to encounter young people than people a lot like themselves -- retired seniors with health conditions that require treatment by medical marijuana. Dispensaries in retiree-rich towns are packed with chemotherapy patients, severely arthritis sufferers in wheelchairs, and seniors suffering from degenerative conditions like multiple sclerosis. Many of the conditions that medical marijuana serves to treat, like pain and loss of appetite, are issues that affect seniors, so it makes sense that medical marijuana is popular among the retired demographic.
Although medicinal cannabis isn't the only reason seniors are flocking to these states, it's impossible to deny that it's playing a large part in their decisions. In fact, ArcView Market Research reports that, in 2014, the medical marijuana market amounted to $2.4 billion dollars, a figure that is projected to balloon to $3.4 billion in 2015. Statistics like this provide solid evidence that medical marijuana is a sought-after market. Many seniors find the availability of medicinal cannabis so important that they are willing to base their choice of state on whether access is permitted.
When you take into account that Colorado, which made the choice to legalize medical marijuana in 2000, has the highest inbound percentage of retirees in the country right now and that seniors are the fastest-growing percentage of medical marijuana users, it's impossible to deny the fact that medicinal marijuana is important to retirees.
Although medical marijuana continues to be a contentious topic around the country, one thing is clear: states that have made medical marijuana legal are enjoying an increase in economy and population thanks to the influx of retirees who appreciate their stance on therapeutic cannabis.