The Baby Boomer Generation & Cannabis Advertising

The Struggle of Cannabis Marketing to the Baby Boomer Generation

As the use of marijuana becomes more normalized, more people are becoming aware of the different healing benefits that come from using cannabis products. Although there is still a lot of work to do, the cannabis community is taking strides in eliminating these harmful stereotypes and normalizing people of all ages, backgrounds, and professions becoming cannabis users.

According to a Pew Research Poll, marijuana use is becoming more prevalent among the baby boomer generation.1 In fact, it was found that 49% of Republican boomers and 81% of Democrat boomers now favor legalization. Consequently, the baby boomer generation seems to be turning to cannabis as a way to alleviate joint pain, treat insomnia, and provide overall pain relief.

Cannabis brands should not overlook the potential that the baby boomer generation can bring to the cannabis market. As this generation continues to age up, the more eager they will be for pain relief and are expected to grow as legalization continues.

The Struggle of Cannabis Marketing to the Baby Boomer Generation

Although the boomer generation seems to be more accepting of cannabis than ever before, there is still a stigma attached that prevents most boomers from being fully on board with legalization. The reason many boomers struggle to overcome the cannabis stigma can be traced back to decades of the “War On Drugs” anti-marijuana propaganda that they were exposed to in the 1980s.2 To overcome this intense level of skepticism and stigma, cannabis brands should focus on marketing to boomers’ specific needs.

How to Market to The Baby Boomer Generation:

Start with CBD

Baby boomers that have minimal experience with cannabis are more likely to be hesitant to jump right into smoking marijuana. Instead, focusing on CBD options is a great way to dip their toes into the cannabis market. CBD is also an excellent option for boomers who suffer from chronic pain but don’t want to feel THC’s effects. In fact, a 2018 report showed that baby boomers are the most common CBD enthusiasts of all age groups (8.4% in 2018).3

Focus on Educating

As mentioned, boomers are incredibly hesitant about cannabis. After all, they grew up hearing anti-marijuana public service announcements. Therefore, having experts working for your brand that can educate, offer the best products, and react sensitively to their concerns is a great way to break the stigma.

Focus on the Medicinal Effects

As boomers continue to age up, they are more likely to experience some chronic pain. Whether that be joint pain, migraines, insomnia, etc. highlighting the medicinal effects that cannabis can alleviate will score major points with this generation’s members.

Highlight Edible Options

The act of inhaling smoke can seem very undesirable for many boomers, and therefore highlighting other options can be very beneficial to your brand. Whether that’s edible gummies or tinctures, anti-smoking boomers are more likely to be less hesitant in comparison.

Offer Special Offers

The use of special offers and discounts is a great way to appeal to the boomer generation. Boomers tend to be highly motivated by saving money and creating brand loyalty. Offering customer loyalty programs that provide special offers is a great way to retain your boomer customers.

For your cannabis brand to market to its highest potential, you should expand your marketing strategy to include the baby boomer generational cohort. Contact Herban Creative to learn more about cannabis marketing.


  1. “Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization.” Pew Research Center, 14 November 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/11/14/americans-support-marijuana-legalization/
  2. “A Brief, Paranoid History of Anti-Weed PSAs.” Vice, 21 April 2017, https://www.vice.com/en/article/ez3b8p/history-of-anti-weed-psas-weedweek2017
  3. “State of Cannabis: Consumers diversified in 2018.” Eaze, 15 January 2019, https://www.eaze.com/article/insights-2018-state-of-cannabis-report-marijuana-consumer-diversify

 

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