Why are so Many Baby Boomers Turning to Medical Marijuana?

Why are so Many Baby Boomers Turning to Medical Marijuana?

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As the pharmaceutical industry and cannabis business continue to coalesce, an increasing number of senior citizens are seeking alternative pain treatments. Gray hair fills Jason Mitchell’s office. When he peers into his waiting room, he sees grandparents with walkers, canes and other indicators of chronic pain. Mitchell isn’t a geriatrician—he’s not even a physician. He’s the general manager of Keystone Shops’ medical marijuana dispensaries in Devon and King of Prussia, where more than half the patients are over 55. And that surprises Mitchell, who’s no stranger to the marijuana business. He spent almost a decade in Colorado canna-businesses, working his way from bud tender to management positions. But his Pennsylvania patient population is different. “I’m shocked at the volume of really sick people,” says Mitchell. “They’re in so much pain, and everything they’ve tried over many years hasn’t provided relief. There’s an enormous need for pain solutions, and we’re just beginning to address that with medical marijuana.” Mitchell says that spinal stenosis, arthritic knees and bad hips are the most common complaints among people over 55. Dr. John Peacock, who practices at Main Line HealthCare Adult Medicine at Shannondell, sees patients with the same sort of pain—and a growing reluctance to use opioids. Many of Peacock’s patients inquired about medical marijuana when it was legalized in 2016. Dispensaries didn’t open until this year, but given the strong demand among his patients, Peacock did his own research and went through the state’s certification process so he could legally write recommendations for medical marijuana. Related: Inside the Complicated World of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana System Peacock, however, isn’t the kind of “green” doctor who writes recommendations for everyone who walks into his office. “I got into this for my current patients with conditions who’ve tried other treatments—surgery, opioids, physical therapy—and are still […]

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