Now that cannabis is legal for medical use in over half the country, the stigma associated with the drug has softened considerably. And now a new group is starting to reap the benefits of this miraculous plant, senior citizens.
Carrie Tice’s 80-year-old mother’s Alzheimer’s was getting worse when a caregiver recommended topical cannabis since modern medicine was proving ineffective. Almost immediately she saw the results in her mom. She became more active and alert, and was able to move out of her assisted living residence, and into her daughter’s house.
“The change in my mom was so remarkable that I wanted to shout it from the mountaintops,” Tice said. “She seemed 10 years younger after 20 minutes, and was happy.”
Tice, a video game software engineer, decided to leave her job and start a new endeavor, helping seniors understand and take advantage of California’s intricate and sometimes confusing medical cannabis system. In 2015 she founded Octavia to help seniors get medical cannabis recommendations online form doctors.
In July of this year the company merged with Viva to create Octavia Wellness. The new company took four senior care facilities in the Bay Area, and it started educating the residents on the benefits of cannabis and how to acquire it.
The company’s goal is to one day sell cannabis products tailored specifically to the elderly. “There are some old rockers at a senior center in Mill Valley who like to get high and buy pre-rolled joints. But most want pain relief, to sleep better and stop fretting. They’re on opiates, constipated, and can’t function on their pills, so once they discover marijuana helps them, stigma’s not an issue,” said Tice.
According to a Cannabist report, revenue from the California cannabis market should reach $6.5 billion by 2020. The total cannabis market in the United States is projected to hit $20 billion in sales by the same year according to Arcview Group market research.